Jarrad McVeigh says Sydney wnts to turn the SCG into an AFL fortress for the Swans.Jarrad McVeigh wants opposing teams to fear playing at the SCG, as his Sydney side prepare to host a team that handed them a hiding at home last season.
The Swans play their first home game of 2018 against Port Adelaide on Sunday, with both teams coming off an impressive first-round win.
Sydney’s home opener last year was also against Port, who smashed the Swans by 28 points.
“Port came here last year and really took it to us and handed us a hiding,” McVeigh said.
“We do remember that and we want teams to have a bit of fear coming to the SCG and hopefully we can put that in them.”
While Port ruckman Paddy Ryder will miss the game through injury, star forward Robbie Gray is back from a suspension.
“It’s going to be a real team defence on him because he’s such a good player,” McVeigh said.
Swans spearhead Lance Franklin started the season by kicking eight out of their 18 goals in the away win over West Coast.
McVeigh stressed Sydney weren’t dependent on their charismatic forward and had other scoring options, but admitted it was hard to ignore Franklin..
“A lot of times he’s in the right spots, because he’s such a good player, he demands the ball,” McVeigh said.
“When you’ve got a guy of his size and wingspan running at you, it just draws your eye,
“You don’t want to kick to him at all the time, because obviously they are going to have two or three guys dropping off in front of him.
“But that can open up some really good opportunities for the other boys in the forward line.
“The beauty of our forward line is that our tall players are quick, so the quicker we can get it in there to those guys the better it is for us.”
McVeigh, Sydney’s longest serving player who has made 300 appearances, signed a one-year contract extension in September.
He wasn’t sure if 2018, his 15th AFL season, would be his last.
McVeigh made it back from a calf injury in time to play a round one game for the first time in four seasons.
He welcomed the return this week of midfielder Dan Hannebery, who also battled with a calf issue in recent weeks.
“To have his hardness, his gut-running and his leadership will definItely be very handy for our team,” McVeigh said.