New captain likely for Swans in 2022
Tony Notte will play on in season 2022 but is unlikely to continue as captain, according to Swan Districts coach Adam Pickering.
Notte, a veteran of 264 games has been Swans skipper since 2018, sharing the role with Matt Riggio for the past two seasons.
Riggio retired at the end of 2021 after a glittering 217 game career in black and white, while Notte has decided to continue his playing career despite work commitment taking him to Busselton.
Speaking to Sports Breakfast, Pickering confirmed Notte would play on for a 15th WAFL season in 2022.
“He’s fully committed. He’s all in, he will be commuting up and doing a lot of his own training down there in the pre-season,” he said.
“It’s a bit of a suck and see and see how it’s working. He’s pretty excited, he’s all in for 2022.”
Swans made a return to finals in 2021 for the first time in four seasons, adding ex AFL players Jarrod Cameron (West Coast) and Tobe Watson (Fremantle) as well as ex VFL small forward Ryan Kemp to their squad for the new season.
A change of leader is likely due to Notte’s work commitments, with Pickering confirming the club has no shortage of options.
“I can’t see Tony wanting to captain the team from Busselton to be honest,” he said.
“We flagged it at the end of last year and he was sort of leaning that way (relinquishing the captaincy) so I do envisage we will have a new captain.
“Jesse Turner, Corey Gault, Brandon Erceg are all good options.
“We have some good young leaders who are finding their feet at league level but also with leadership in Jackson Beck and Aidan Clarke. There’s a handful of guys there that I can see leading our club into the future.”
Fresh off a September appearance in 2021, Pickering said the playing group had set some lofty goals for 2022.
“The expectation for our club this year is to finish top three in all three grades,” he said.
“If you finish in the top three, you’re giving yourself a really good chance at a premiership. We want to push the top end sides, Subiaco, Claremont, South Fremantle and even West Perth.
“I’m getting sick of them winning it all the time. It’s time for a change and that’s our focus. We’re really pushing for that top end (of the ladder) and sustaining it for years to come.”
Pickering also confirmed stars Sam Fisher (shoulder) and Corey Gault (concussion) are being eased through the pre-season having battled injury last season.
Swans will face East Perth at Leederville Oval on the Easter weekend in April in round one.
IMAGE: WAFL website.