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Key signings locked away

Luke McManus  October 23, 2017 10:03 AM

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Isaac Heeney was one of the key re-signings for the Swans during the 2017 season.

The Sydney Swans made only the one move during the 2017 Trade Period, letting go of second-year rookie Sam Murray to Collingwood in exchange for a future second round selection.

While trades, deals, players, picks, numbers and stacks of paperwork were flying around Etihad Stadium in what was a frantic final day of negotiations, Head of Football Tom Harley and the list management team achieved what they wanted to well before the 2pm deadline.

Harley said the Club’s priority for the past year has been to re-sign their exciting crop of youngsters and key free agent in Sam Reid.

“Going back 12 months, we had a clear strategy to secure the commitments from our key players,” Harley said. 

“During the year we were able to do that starting with Isaac Heeney and Callum Mills through to free agent Sam Reid and Zak Jones. 

“Given this, we knew that our trade period would potentially be quiet although we are very happy to be able to improve our 2018 draft position by adding a future second round pick in what is looming to be a very strong draft as part of the deal that sent Sam Murray to Collingwood.

“We will now use our draft picks in the 2017 draft (14, 33 and 51) to add to the young talent we have brought to the club in the past three drafts which has seen first-round picks Isaac Heeney, Callum Mills, Oliver Florent and Will Hayward play significant roles for the club.”

For Harley and co, the hard work began as early as December last year when rising star Isaac Heeney was re-signed to a five-year deal.

It was high on the to-do list and lifted the lid on what Sydney’s approach would be in the coming months.

And so, the dominoes fell, the Swans moving quickly to re-sign several other youngsters to contract extensions and reinvest in the stocks they already owned.

The final box was ticked after Sam Reid’s signature was secured in August.

The 25-year-old key forward was reportedlyin high demand but citing a love of Sydney and the club he’s played 119 games for and won a premiership with, Reid had no problem signing the dotted line.

Swans supporters can now expect the likes of Heeney, Mills, Jones, Florent, Hayward, Lewis Melican, Jordan Dawson and Darcy Cameron to be in red and white for the short-term future at least.

And the future certainly looks bright with the Swans blooding 17 debutants in the past three years, while still managing to compete at the pointy end of the year. 

Hayward and Florent, who arrived via last year’s draft, combined for 26 games in what were impressive first years in the system.

Mills, in only his second season, looks at home in defence already and has been touted as a future leader while the fleet-footed Jones stepped into the midfield with ease.

We all know the impact Lewis Melican had as a key defender this season while emerging midfielder Jordan Dawson and ruckman Darcy Cameron have shown they’re ready to take the next step.

Propped up by an experienced group of leaders, this core group is poised to keep the Sydney Swans challenging in the seasons to come.