The Sydney Swans have today announced the re-signing of young gun Braeden Campbell for another three years, extending his time with the club until the end of the 2025 season.
In a year where the Sydney Swans once again faced disruptions and constant challenges throughout the season, Campbell looked at the positives to come from the year.
The first year medium defender embraced the challenges throw at him and took advantages to “be a sponge” and absorb as much as he could from his fellow teammates.
“My first year has definitely been a highlight of my life so far,” Campbell said when asked to reflect on his season after his re-signing.
“The first half of the season we were in Sydney and I was just trying to be a sponge with all the older players and just absorb as much as I could, just to improve myself as a player on and off the field.
“The second half of the year, we went into the hub and that was hard at times but looking back, it was the best thing for me to just absorb myself into the team and learn as much as I could as I formed strong bonds with the team.”
Pick number 5 in the 2020 NAB AFL Draft, the QBE Sydney Swans Academy product had an immediate impact in his debut year.
With the goal to play in the opening round of the season, describing that opportunity as a dream come true at the time, Campbell went on to play 8 games in 2021.
He was voted as the Round 2 NAB Rising Star nominee after recording 25 disposals and six marks against the Adelaide Crows.
“I had a goal at the start of the year to just play Round One and I was able to do that,” Campbell said.
“Then the rising star nomination in Round Two, it was just the icing on top of the cake for me.
“The constant smile on my face happens because of such a good vibe we have at the Swans,” he added.
“All the players are there for you, the staff, the coaches, everyone is there to help you and it’s pretty hard not to smile.”
Campbell is revered for his brilliant versatility and exceptional left-foot kick.
He well and truly made the no.16 jersey his own throughout his rookie year, cementing a spot in the club's backline and producing some starring performances off halfback.
The 19-year-old credited his ability to learn alongside experienced co-captains Dane Rampe and Luke Parker crucial in his development in his opening year.
“Dane Rampe played a big role for me in my first year. Playing down back with him for my first few games, he taught me everything there is to know on the field and also off the field, he was my go to person,” Campbell said.
“Luke Parker was big for me as well. When I tried to move into the mid-field, he was my mentor as well so those two played key roles for me.”