Swans impressed with local youngsters

A FLOCK of premiership-winning Sydney Swans flew into Port Macquarie yesterday to hold a couple of clinics and help the next generation of stars through.

The players were in Port Macquarie and Laurieton as part of the 2013 AFL Community Camp, visiting hospitals and schools, holding clinics and meeting fans.

Premiership player Nick Smith headed up the visit.

Smith starred in last season’s premiership triumph against the highly-fancied Hawthorn.

He superbly shut out Hawk dangerman, Cyril Rioli.

Smith said the high of the grand final win wore off when preseason training started again, but he was happy with how the Swans were looking.

“Everyone came back in pretty good nick, so it was good,” he said.

“But it [the grand final] was awesome.

“Growing up – that’s what everyone dreams about.”

Joining Smith was rookie-list player Dane Rampe, Alex Brown and Andrejs Everitt.

Everitt is the younger brother of Spida Everitt. He introduced himself to Swans fans in a big way last year, when he kicked the winning goal from a tight angle after coming off the bench in a match against Geelong in round 13.

Smith and co visited St Paul’s school, where AFL is strong.

The school won the statewide competition last season.

Smith said the school was doing the sport proud.

“I’m really impressed,” he said.

“The standard [of school players] is getting better and better.”

Smith said it was helping Sydney catch up to the likes of Melbourne, the heartland of the game.

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