The Sydney Swans are an Aussie rules football club that compete in the Australian Football League (AFL) competition and are affectionately referred to by their many fans as the Swannies.
Previously known as the South Melbourne Football Club the team relocated and changed their name in 1982 and are the sole AFL team in New South Wales.
Sydney Swans Information
Established: 1874 (South Melbourne Football Club), 1982 (Sydney Swans)
Home Grounds: Sydney Cricket Ground & ANZ Stadium
Colours: Red & White
Mascot: Syd “Swannie” Skilton
Number of Premierships Won: 3 VFL (1909, 1918, 1933) & 1 AFL (2005)
Number of Minor Premierships: 0
The Aussie rules team now known as the Sydney Swans originally began in Victoria in 1874 and were known as the South Melbourne Football Club. Over a century later in 1982 the club was relocated to Sydney and were renamed the Sydney Swans.
The South Melbourne team was one of the original clubs that founded the Victorian Football League (VFL), predecessor to the AFL, in 1897.
During their early years as South Melbourne playing in the VFL, the team enjoyed three Premiership wins in 1909, 1918 and 1933. The club’s other successes during this time included their four consecutive Grand Final appearances from 1933 – 1936.
The team then struggled financially throughout the next few decades and this strain on resources also affected their on-field endeavours. During the 1970’s South Melbourne suffered through their worst period, which included 29 consecutive losses from 1972 – 1973.
Because of their poor record the club was told to relocate to Sydney or be disbanded, they chose to move to New South Wales in 1982 and were from then on known as the Sydney Swans. The team then became part of the national Aussie rules competition, the AFL.
After a dismal few seasons in the early 80’s the club made the semi-finals in 1986 and 1987 before going through another dark era that saw them finish towards the bottom of the ladder for nearly a decade.
In 1996 they seemed to get back on track and were the runners-up in the Grand Final that year but were defeated by North Melbourne.
Many final appearances were to follow, with the club finally breaking their 72 year premiership drought, the longest in VFL/AFL history, in 2005.
The first team outside of Victoria to be admitted into the AFL the Swans won their first, and to date only, AFL Premiership in 2005 when they defeated the West Coast Eagles 8.10.58 to 7.12.54, winning by a mere four points, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
They backed up their 2005 premiership success the following season when they made the Grand Final for a second year in a row where they again played the West Coast Eagles. This time they were defeated by just one point.
Emblem, Colours & Guernseys
The logo of the Sydney Swans team has gone through a number of redesigns over the years, their current emblem featuring the same large, red ‘V’ of their old guernseys with the head and neck of a white swan in the centre.
The two colours used by the club are red and white, which originates from the now extinct south Melbourne Football Club as the South Melbourne coat of arms features these two colours. The red ‘V’ of the club was introduced in 1932 replacing the original red slash.
The Sydney Swans guernseys or jumpers are red on top with a white yoke that features a silhouette of the Sydney Oprah House. Traditionally the guernseys featured a red ‘V’, which was replaced by the Opera House design in 1987.
The majority of the Sydney Swans home games are played at the Sydney Cricket Ground, but some of their bigger AFL showdowns take place at ANZ Stadium.
Sydney Cricket Ground has a capacity of 44,000 spectators and is located at Moore Park while ANZ Stadium has a larger capacity of 81,500 and is located in Sydney Olympic Park.
The Sydney Swans enjoy a massive fan base as the only AFL team in New South Wales and many of their supporters show their love for the club by becoming members. A Swans membership is one of the best ways to get behind the team and the players and ensure their future in the competition, as is backing them in the betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Syd “Swannie” Skilton is the mascot for the Sydney Swans club, named after Bob Skilton who played for South Melbourne from 1956 – 1971 and is hailed as one of the best players in Aussie Rules history.
“Swannie” is a real character, a cheeky swan who likes to dress up and get the crowd cheering.
Best Bet to Make
Aside from their below-par 2009 season, the Sydney Swans have made the AFL finals every year since 2003 and so betting on them to ‘Make the Top 8’ at Ladbrokes.com.au is a good wager to consider.
The club also has an above average record playing at home, so it is a good time to back them in the head-to-head markets at Ladbrokes.com.au when they are the hosts.
Only four teams in the competition currently boast a better average winning margin than the Swans, who win their games by around 36 points, so also looking at the exotic AFL betting markets like ‘Winning Margin Spreads’ at Ladbrokes.com.au can pay off for punters.
For information on where to go for the best AFL odds check out our Bet on AFL page.