While the Baggies will not feature in Saturday’s Horsham District Football League grand final, the 2017 season will be touted as a huge success for the boys from North Park.
Swifts’ senior side achieved their pre-season goal of qualifying for their first finals series since 2014 in style, rocketing up the ladder from eighth place last season to third this year.
The Baggies were able to consolidate the losses of Sean Mantell to Stawell and Damon Folkes to an ACL injury with the rise of the likes of Ben Taylor and Ryan Folkes beginning to dominate in the middle of the ground.
Four wins from their first five games had Swifts fans in a trance, with the team playing exciting and fast-paced football.
Seven victories from the last seven games of the season had the Baggies set for a big finals campaign.
In a huge weekend for the club, both senior and reserves football teams recorded finals victories to prove to the competition the Baggies were a force to be reckoned with both this season and in years to come.
Disappointing semi-final losses to Jeparit-Rainbow in the seniors and the Southern Mallee Giants in reserves cut short the excitement that was building, but Swifts senior coach Scott Carey said to get as far as they did was “outstanding”.
“We obviously would have loved to go deeper into finals but I am so proud of the group to get us to where we were,” he said.
“All of the players jumped on board this year, bought in to what we wanted to do and propelled us forward.
“It was fantastic to win a final but now we have to set our sights a bit higher and push for a grand final berth, which I think we are capable of doing.”
Carey’s individual season was one to remember as he claimed the Dellar Medal and was named coach of the year. He said the improvement of the club as a whole is a collaborative effort.
“The success on the field doesn’t come from just me or the 21 blokes out there, it is from everyone at the club in all the different roles,” he said.
“The support I have received is amazing and I am very grateful.
“It has been a great season and hopefully we can build from here. I would encourage all of our supporters to stay on board and see what the club can do from here because there are exciting times ahead.”
Carey will apply to retain his job as head coach of Swifts for the 2018 season.
He said he is looking forward to remaining involved with the team in any capacity. “I’m really confident we can keep the group together and continue to build and improve,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to another big season with a great group.”