The opportunity to work with Dean Cox, having idolised the Hall of Fame ruckman, was a major factor in Peter Ladhams’ decision to join the club’s ruck stocks.
The Sydney Swans welcomed Ladhams to the club on the final day of the Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period, following a trade in the final moments.
In a deal struck with Port Adelaide, Ladhams joins the Swans in exchange for a future third round selection in the NAB AFL Draft, while the two clubs will swap 2021 first round draft selections.
Recruited to Port Adelaide via the 2017 rookie draft, Ladhams has played 32 career matches since debuting in 2019.
He played 17 matches with Port in 2021, including the qualifying and preliminary finals.
The 23-year-old said the opportunity to work with and learn from Dean Cox was a major reason in his decision to want to join Sydney.
“The big thing was having Dean Cox as a ruck coach,” Ladhams said.
“I have watched him when I was growing up and always idolised him as a superstar player.
“I have heard good reviews about him as a coach and talking to him about the opportunities that I can have there, having him as a mentor, is one of the big reasons.”
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.
Ladhams said he was also excited to work with Hickey, having watched how his game developed and improved since joining the Club.
“I watched a bit of Sydney play throughout this year and having seen how Tom Hickey has really improved this year,” Ladhams said.
“I like watching how he goes about it, how he plays the game and I’m hoping I can play a similar sort of style to him. That was a big reason as well.”
Ladhams will prepare to make the move from Adelaide to Sydney ahead of pre-season training.
Joining a side that will prove a health competition for spots, Ladhams is excited about meeting the rest of his teammates and beginning to put his best foot forward.
“I haven’t looked too far ahead. I am just going to try get across there [to Sydney] when I can and start pre-season fit and healthy.
“Then work with Tom and Dean, work on my ruck craft and try and get better in that aspect of the game and just try and meet all the team.
“It sounds cliché, but I just want to earn the respect of my teammates and go from there.”
While Ladhams has played against Sydney, the ruckman is yet to play at the SCG.
He hopes it will come to fruition in 2022.
“I haven’t played at the SCG before but I have heard really good things about the supporters when it’s a packed house, all the members and fans are there cheering you on so I’m really looking forward to that,” Ladhams said.
“Hopefully next year all the fans can come out because I know it’s been a long two years across the majority of the AFL, so if they can be there that would be awesome.”
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