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Swans finalise 2015 list at Rookie Draft

SwansTV: Sean McLaren highlights Watch highlights of new Swans rookie Sean McLaren in action for the Sandringham Dragons and AIS
Winner of the Fothergill- Round Award for U/23's Nic Newman of Frankston during the 2014 Liston Trophy presentation at Peninsula at Docklands on September 1, 2014. (Photo: Theo Karanikos/AFL Media)
Nic Newman won the 2014 Fothergill-Round Medal
The Sydney Swans have shored up their defensive stocks for 2015, with three backmen selected by the club in Wednesday morning’s Rookie Draft.

In addition to QBE Sydney Swans Academy selection Jordan Foote, who was taken by the club in the ninth round, the Swans selected tall defender Sean McLaren (pick 17) from the Sandringham Dragons, classy half-back and reigning Fothergill–Round medallist Nic Newman (pick 35) from Frankston and young key back Lewis Melican (pick 52) from the Geelong Falcons.

Speaking to sydneyswans.com.au at the conclusion of the Rookie Draft, Football Manager Tom Harley said the club was thrilled with their selections in this morning’s draft.

“We’re really happy,” Harley said.

“If you look at the four picks, we’ve got an inside-mid in Jordan Foote, a key defender-cum-ruckman in McLaren, a really beautiful ball user and experienced player in Newman, and then Lewis Melican, so we’re rapt.”

Harley said McLaren, who was part of the AIS-AFL Academy this year, was an important acquisition for the Swans with the 18-year-old able to play multiple roles.

“(Sean’s) a key defender at 198 centimetres and is a really competitive player,” he said.

“He’s been part of the AIS-AFL Academy, so in the really top-end part of the Academy program.

“He’s spent a bit of time in the ruck also, so he has some versatility and is really servicing a need in both our key defensive stocks and in our ruck stocks.”

Sean McLaren was taken with the Swans in the Rookie Draft at pick 17

Harley said Newman, who took out the 2014 Fothergill-Round Medal as the best young player in the VFL for his standout season with the Frankston Dolphins, was also an exciting prospect for the Swans.

He added that the 21-year-old was a great user of the football and was seen as a potential replacement for Nick Malceski, who made the move to the Gold Coast at the end of the 2014 season.

“We were really surprised that Nic was still there at pick 35,” Harley said.

“Our recruiting staff has kept an eye on him for a while and he is a beautiful kick and plays off half-back.

“He was targeted from our end with the hole that Nick Malceski obviously vacated going to the Gold Coast Suns.

“He actually won the Fothergill Medal, which is the Rising Star equivalent in the VFL, and some really great players have won it in recent times including Michael Hibberd from Essendon, Michael Barlow from Freo and our own Dean Towers also won the award.”

With their final live selection, the Swans selected 18-year-old defender Lewis Melican, who impressed for the Geelong Falcons this year.

Harley described the Birregurra teenager as a ‘terrific prospect’, who has a bright future.

“He’s young in the draft age, but is really task-focused and is a good size at 193 centimetres and a key defender,” he said.

“We really liked the way Lewis progressed this year and he’s got a lot of upside going forward.”

Lewis Melican in action for the Geelong Falcons this year (source: Instagram)

Harley said the Swans were also excited to secure a fourth Swans Academy player, with the club committing to midfielder Jordan Foote with their ninth-round pick in the Rookie Draft.

“We went in with the four picks and we had committed to QBE Sydney Swans Academy player Jordan Foote with our fourth pick in the rookie draft, which is great and is another success story for the Academy and for football in Sydney,” he said.

“He’s an inside-mid and he’s really professional with the way he prepares his body to get himself up to play, so we’re really hopeful that he’s going to have a long career with the Swans.”

The Swans had earlier passed on picks five and eight in the Pre-Season Draft while picks 64 and 69 were not utilised by the club in the Rookie Draft.

Jordan Foote was selected by the Swans with pick 76 in the 2015 Rookie Draft