2020 starts now for Swans: Kennedy
JOSH Kennedy insists a win over Geelong on Sunday will be the first step in generating critical momentum as the Swans strive to hit the ground running next season.
The experienced co-captain says the remaining five weeks of the 2019 campaign are massive for the club, even though finals hopes have all but disappeared.
And as a young group continues to learn, Kennedy says what better test than taking on the ladder leaders.
"The momentum that you can finish on and carry into the next pre-season is really critical and I think the continued development of our younger players is really important too for us to get better next year," he said. "That's certainly a focus for me and no doubt us as a footy club. It's a really critical time for the footy club.
"I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a different situation. It's the first time that I've been in Sydney that finals are really unlikely. But it's a different challenge."
Geelong's recent form has been far from blistering but they remain the benchmark.
"They've got class all over the park, so it's going to be a big task," Kennedy said.
"For us as a team now it's about trying to get better every week, wanting to be the best in the competition. What a great challenge for us as a midfield group to go head to head with them."
The 31-year-old has been hugely impressed with the way the Swans youngsters have blossomed this season.
"(It's) another highlight of the year, for the young guys to have stepped up," he said. "But we're going to need to take another step forward as the year goes on."
The ruck stocks have been decimated in recent weeks but Kennedy was quick to hail Hayden McLean's debut against the Dockers last week.
"I thought it was a real shining light to come out of the game last week and I look forward to seeing him continue to build on that," he said.
He also backed senior figures Jarrad McVeigh and Kieren Jack to strive for AFL returns before the season is out. Despite suggestions the end of the campaign could see both call it a day, Kennedy said "the cue isn't in the rack".