Sam Naismith ready to fly into the 2018 season with the Sydney Swans

Gunnedah’s Sam Naismith is “fitter than ever” and preparing for what he hopes is his biggest year of AFL yet.

Injuries have plagued Naismith throughout his career with the Swans with the 25-year-old playing 15 games out of a possible 24 due to troubles with his knee in 2017.

However, Naismith felt as if he’d put his injuries behind him and was ready for a big 2018 season.

“I’m feeling really strong at the moment. I’m fitter than ever,” Naismith said.

“This year, I just want my body to not break down – not be injured.

“I’ve been through a fair few injuries over the last few years.

“If I can get my body right and get a standard full season of AFL in and not miss a game, that’s pretty much my goal at the moment.”

The ruckman also had one other – bigger – goal.

“Everyone wants to win a premiership. It’d be nice to go one better than 2016,” he added.

And going off their pre-season so far, Naismith said the Swans were feeling confident of a good year.

“We’re really looking forward to this season at the moment,” he said.

“We’ve had a few guys join in training recently that were injured. We're looking really good for the year ahead and we definitely don’t want a start like we had last year.”

Naismith was in Tamworth on Monday with fellow Swan Lewis Melican who were visiting to help run clinics with juniors.

The pair were at Tamworth No. Oval in the afternoon helping run an Auskick and a come and try session.

“It’s been great to be back in Tamworth – going round to a few schools and spreading the word about AFL,” he said.

“Coming from an area that’s rugby league and rugby union dominated. It’s pretty important to try and create some interest in AFL. To show everyone around here that it’s an enjoyable sport and anyone can play it.”

This story Sam Naismith: ‘I’m feeling really strong at the moment’ | Photos first appeared on Namoi Valley Independent.