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Swan hopes GWS a turning point for Cloke
Rob Forsaith
13:24 AEST Mon Jul 30 2012

Collingwood midfielder Dane Swan admits an in-form Travis Cloke is crucial to his side's AFL premiership hopes.

And the reigning Brownlow medallist is hoping the black-and-white faithful will see more of it at the business end of the season after Cloke's demolition of Greater Western Sydney.

Cloke kicked six goals straight on the weekend - his best return this season.

The 25-year-old also had a game-high five contested marks and tallied 21 disposals in his return to form.

"That's what he was so good at last year (contested marks and accurate goalkicking) and that's why he was so dominant and probably the best forward in the whole game last year," Swan told AAP.

"Unfortunately he hasn't lived up to those high expectations this year, but hopefully this is the turning point for him and he starts to play some good, consistent footy.

"We don't expect him to kick six every week, we just expect him to make a contest and create - and the goals will come."

The fact the goals came for Cloke after his club shelved contract talks until the end of the season was noted by some pundits, but Swan was unsure whether there was any link between the two.

"He obviously hasn't been playing his best footy, whether that's because of his contract or just because he's out of form - probably only one person can answer that and that's Trav," he said.

However Swan was more certain about what impact the speculation was having on Cloke's teammates.

"It happened with Pendles (Scott Pendlebury) as well, and Thommo (Dale Thomas). So we're kind of used to it - internally, we don't really care (about the speculation).

"If he stays or he goes, that's next year. All we can focus on is him playing his best footy over the next hopefully eight or nine weeks.

"If he goes at the end of the year, well good luck to him. If not, we want him."

Cloke combined sweetly with Chris Dawes and Chris Tarrant against GWS, and Swan said Collingwood's forward line would be a key factor in whether they win a second flag in three years.

"Hopefully all three, especially Dawesy and Trav, get a little bit of confidence now and start plucking their marks.

"Because without those two in good form, we're probably not going to go anywhere."

Swan's best will also go a long way to boosting Collingwood's premiership claims, and the 28-year-old has been in cracking from since missing rounds nine and 10 with a hamstring injury.

"I'm starting to run out games a little bit better now. Every year I try to gradually build up, so hopefully I've still got a fair bit of improvement."


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