Cameron stakes his ruck claim with Swans

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

First-year Sydney Swans ruckman Darcy Cameron is confident of playing in the grand finalists’ opening JLT Community Series fixture this Sunday after having his first taste of life at the top level last Friday.

Cameron was part of the Swans’ intra-club scratch match on Friday afternoon at Henson Park in Marrickville, the game played in oppressive heat in excess of 35 degrees.

It was the North Albany product’s first proper hit-out in Swans colours and he was pitted against star big man Kurt Tippett throughout the contest, but acquitted himself well.

The 21-year-old, who was selected by the Swans with pick 48 in last year’s national draft, battled well against Tippett in ruck contests and took a number of impressive overhead marks in the second half.

Speaking to the Albany Advertiser,Cameron said it was great to be running around.

“It was good to get out there and a good opportunity to test myself against Tippo,” Cameron said.

“It was a pretty hot game.

“I managed to structure up a bit differently in the second half and took a couple of grabs in the last quarter.

“When (Tippett) was in the ruck, I was there and then when he went forward, I went forward.”

Cameron’s red team eventually went down in the practice game, 13.11 (89) to 9.7 (61).

The Swans will play North Melbourne in Coffs Harbour on Sunday afternoon in the first of their three JLT Community Series games, which Cameron is confident of playing in given ruckman Callum Sinclair (knee) and Sam Naismith (shoulder) are not fully fit.

“The coaches have been giving me good feedback and everyone was pretty pleased with (Friday),” he said. “At the moment, it looks like I will play on Sunday at Coffs Harbour.

“That will be a good indication and hopefully if I take my opportunities, I can maybe sneak a spot for round 1.

“That would be the dream to play in round 1, but I just want to improve and hopefully compete for a spot.”

Swans coach John Longmire told sydneyswans.com.au post-game that Cameron had been impressive since joining the club.

“He’s had a great pre-season, he's had to compete with Kurt (Tippett) and Kurt has completed all of the pre-season so Darcy gets tested every week,” Longmire said.

“Sam Naismith and Callum Sinclair are just getting back into now, as far as training goes, so they'll be a couple of weeks behind those two but those two have going against each other this pre-season have done pretty well.

“He's a pretty good mark, plays well as a forward, has got good forward instincts.

“He's still learning the game but he looks okay at the moment.”

Sunday’s match with the Kangaroos could pit Cameron against former North Albany teammates Marley Williams and Declan Mountford.

Mountford, in his second season on the Roos’ list, was joined by new recruit Williams in their side’s intra-club match on Friday.

Williams impressed across half-back as he presses his claim for a round 1 spot while Mountford spent time in the midfield.

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