Ruckman Peter Ladhams is set to bring some healthy competition in the Sydney Swans squad following joining the club following the Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period.
In a deal struck with Port Adelaide, Sydney welcomed the 23-year-old in the final moments of the trade period, signing a four year deal in exchange for a future third round selection in the NAB AFL Draft, while the two clubs will swap 2021 first round draft selections.
The 202cm Ladhams will initially continue in the forward/ruck role that he regularly played at the Power while also supporting 30-year-old Tom Hickey in the ruck.
“Trade week can be unpredictable,” Executive General Manager – Football Charlie Gardiner said earlier today.
“We had a few things going on with Jordan Dawson early in the trade period and we were busy up until the end working through the Peter Ladhams trade with Port Adelaide, but we are really happy with the outcome.
“We set out to try and bring Peter in, we think he is a genuine, long term, number one ruck option for us and a key part of our list build so to bring someone in like Peter, to complement Tom Hickey, was a terrific result.”
Ladhams is the second ruckman trades in the past two years following Tom Hickey’s trade deal last year, and Gardiner predicts the two to complement each other well.
“We think he can complement and work really closely with Tom over the next couple of years and then progress to a genuine number one ruck for us,” Gardiner said.
“They're difficult to find. If you look back the really top-line ruckman have been taken very early in the draft or you typically have to pay a really high price at the trade table.
“We have been able to bring in two ruckman over the last two trade periods which we think we have done really well with so we are really pleased with what we have done over the past two years.”
The addition of Ladhams to the Sydney Swans squad sees a healthy competition for spots in the forward line.
Ladhams will be aiming to support Lance Franklin and young talls Logan McDonald, Hayden McLean and Joel Amartey who all showed development this year.
“There will be a bit of competition for spots. We are really pleased with the development of Joel Amartey, we thought he showed a lot this year and he continued to get better,” Gardiner said.
“Hayden McLean is another forward who can go into the ruck and we think the two can focus on their forward craft and develop their skills as key forwards.”
Sam Reid is currently uncontracted as the club currently works on it’s current list balance.
“We've been pretty open with Sam, he knows where he sits where we said that we'd defer a decision in relation to his future until post-trade period,” Gardiner said.
“We will sit down over the next couple of days and work through that but we think Sam can still play a role. We just have to weigh up our list balance and where things sit.
“Sam has been a terrific player and one thing he does bring is versatility, he can play at both ends of the ground,” he added.
“We've seen him go back late in games and play that seventh-defender role, so we're pretty confident that he could play a role like that.
“He is another one that could go into the middle as well and be a really mobile ruckman and can go forward or on the wings so there is a lot going for Sam, we just have to work through our list balance.”
And when asked about looking ahead to further squad developments, Gardiner says the focus comes from within.
“We have some developing young forwards we are really confident in, so we are hoping a lot of our improvement can come from within,” Gardiner said.
“We have been to the draft heavily over the last 4-5 years, we have six Top-10 draft picks on our list at the moment and over 50% of our list is under 25.
“We think we are really building into a good position where we can start challenging consistently and we would like to see a lot of improvement from within.”