After winning his second Anzac Medal for his best-afield, four-goal performance, Collingwood's Dane Swan admitted he should have been playing better early in the season.
''I was fit and able and I should have been better – I'm better than that,'' said Swan, who nonetheless added that he had ''an enormous amount of pride'' in his performances.
''Sometimes you start chasing your tail when you're not getting a kick. But I knew it was going to come.''
Swan, who won his second Anzac Medal with four goals and 26 disposals, said he sat down with coach Nathan Buckley three weeks ago when he was not performing to his standards to discuss three ''focuses'', areas in which he had to improve. His form had since improved weekly, culminating in Anzac Day’s best game of the season.
Swan described his second goal, in the third quarter – a two-bounce left-footer from near the boundary – as ''pretty much a fluke''.
Smiling, he said he had ''absolutely'' intended to kick the goal from that position, adding, ''No – not at all''.
''I actually tried to kick it along the ground, because that's how good my left foot is, it's terrible. But they don't draw pictures in the papers, so it goes down as a goal.''
Swan said his own form this season mirrored the match itself – better later than early – but offered no excuses for his indifferent start, which the club previously put down to an interrupted pre-season and a lack of touch after ankle surgery.
''It's probably two halves – the first three were pretty ordinary and the last three have been back to where I think I am. Obviously I'd like to keep improving.
''I have an enormous amount of pride in the way I play ... obviously it's nice to read your name in the paper for all the positives and not being doorstopped on a Monday morning asking, 'What's wrong with you, why aren't you getting a kick?' ''
Swan also took particular pride in performing well on Anzac Day.