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Swans heed Giant AFL wake-up call

AAP logoAAP 25/09/2016 Jason Phelan

Sydney could have cross-town rivals Greater Western Sydney to thank if they go on to claim the 2016 AFL premiership.

After their shock qualifying final loss to the Giants, the Swans blitzed Adelaide then Geelong to set up Saturday's grand final clash with the Western Bulldogs.

Young star Isaac Heeney says the 36-point defeat to GWS was a timely wake-up call for his side.

"We were embarrassed by our game against GWS but we've come out and really focused on the things that make us a good side," Heeney said.

"We've just concentrated on playing 30 minutes by 30 minutes.

"There's not one person who isn't playing their role. I think that's the key for us.

"It's all about effort and intensity. After the GWS game that gave us a little reminder that we've got to go out and hit them hard early."

Heeney was Sydney's best player against the Cats, who they steamrolled from the outset with a seven-goals-to-nil opening term.

The 20-year-old had 28 touches, kicked a goal and took several relieving marks across half-back, appearing tailor-made for the big stage of finals football.

"I just try to play my role in every match I play, but it was just one of those games for me - I really controlled how I prepared for it," he said

"I just try not to work myself up too much before the game and be ready and raring to go once the game starts.

"I feel like I've been able to do that over the past few weeks."

Heeney is unlikely to be overawed by the occasion, but the enormity of playing in a grand final in just his second AFL season isn't lost on him.

"It's ridiculous isn't it?" he said.

"It's something I would have never imagined. To come into a team like this in just my second year is mind blowing.

"I pinch myself ... everyone obviously wants to play in a grand final but players can go their whole careers without playing in one.

"I just cannot wait."

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