On the all-time Swans playing list of 1438 players No.1 is Dave Adamson and No.2 is Jack Adamson. They were brothers. They played together in the first South Melbourne game in 1897 to set a trend that has continued for 125 years.
It was the beginning of mixed careers for the pair. Dave Adamson went on to play 90 games for South Melbourne and captain the club in the 1903 grand final while Jack played only three games.
It’s been a common occurrence for brothers to play together with the Swans, with at least 25 sets of brothers having worn the red and white.
This list includes some of the biggest names in club history who take in some of the special moments in club history – Brownlow Medallists Ron Clegg and Herbie Matthews, Team of the Century choices Stevie Wright and Tony Morwood and premiership players Arthur Hiskins (1909), Chris Laird (1918), Kieren Jack and Ted Richards (2012).
And in 2022 there will be another pair of brothers at the SCG after the Swans picked up Corey Warner, brother of Chad, in the third round of the 2021 AFL National Draft.
In what will be a topic of much banter between the pair, Corey, a hard-running midfielder from WAFL club East Fremantle, was taken at pick #40 after Chad went at #39 two years ago.
He was the second of Sydney’s three picks on night two of the draft after they claimed Angus Sheldrick at 18 in the first round on Wednesday night. They took South Adelaide midfielder Matthew Roberts at #34 and Oakleigh Chargers utility Lachlan Rankin at #58.
This quartet, along with recruit Peter Ladhams, will be the only new faces at the club next year after the Swans only pick in the rookie draft was used to re-list Lewis Taylor.
Warner, Roberts and Rankin will bring their own slice of football history to the SCG.
The Warner brothers have continued a family football history that goes back to Nhill in the Wimmera League in western Victoria, where their grandfather Graeme and father Travis played before Travis Warner moved to Perth and played 34 games with South Fremantle from 2000-02.
While the family has a club loyalty split between South Fremantle and East Fremantle, their Aquinas College pedigree is unquestioned and extensive, with Ben Allan, Peter Bell, Simon Black, Patrick Cripps, Nathan Fyfe, Daniel Kerr, Quinten Lynch, Elliot Yeo and the Swans’ Logan McDonald among the school’s standout football products.
Warner, originally from Willeton Juniors, captained Aquinas College in school football this year and after starting the season with the East Fremantle Colts played four consecutive games in the WAFL before returning to play a key role in the Colts’ run to the finals.
Deployed most often on the wing, he featured there for WA U19s before an outstanding performance at the AFL Draft Combine, where he posted State-high scores in the 2km time trial (6:20), standing vertical jump (76cm), and running vertical jump (100cm).
Roberts, described as “a footballer’s footballer” in the lead-up to the draft, has been on the AFL recruiting radar since representing SA in consecutive Australian U16 Championships along side South Adelaide clubmate and #1 pick Jason Horne-Francis.
Originally from Langhorne Creek, a small wining town an hour south-east of Adelaide, Roberts made his SANFL debut with South Adelaide early this year before his season was disrupted by a two-month syndesmosis injury suffered playing school football with St.Peter’s College.
He returned to play three times for SA in the rejigged U19 championships and five of the last six SANFL games with South Adelaide, including three finals.
Veteran AFL talent chief Kevin Sheehan described Roberts as SA’s best player in the representative matches this year. “He’s your safe bet, the left footer. He’s a bit like a Luke Dunstan - a strongly built, contested ball winner,” Sheehan said.
Roberts will follow in the footsteps of other South Adelaide products to play for the Swans – 47-game 2006 grand final ruckman Stephen Doyle, whose father Robert played 77 games with South Melbourne from 1969-75), 59-gamer Darren Kappler and former #4 draft pick and 10-game Swan turned radio and television star Ryan Fitzgerald.
He also joins current Swans and South Australian representatives Will Hayward and Dylan Stephens at the club.
Rankin, a 182cm redhead, is originally from the Beverley Hills junior club in Melbourne which produced Swans premiership coach Paul Roos.
Although limited to four NAB League games this year due to Covid, he has been a constant in the Victorian talent pathway via the Chargers. He represented Victoria at U16 and U19 levels, earned a late call-up to the AFL Academy in April this year and after playing school football with Caulfield Grammar was named in the Associated Private Schools Team of the Year.
Rankin will join new teammate James Rowbottom and ex-Swans Dan Hannebery and Alex Johnson as Oakleigh Chargers graduates to join Sydney.