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Meteoric rise for McCartin

McCartin debut- May 10th, 2018 SwansTV catches up with debutant Tom McCartin ahead of his first game.

The meteoric rise of Swans forward Tom McCartin will shift another gear higher when he makes his AFL debut in Sydney’s match with Hawthorn at the MCG on Friday night.

The 18-year-old was the youngest player to secure a contract at the National Draft last November and will play his first senior game off the back of an impressive pre-season and strong NEAFL form.

He was still a year 11 student when he was drafted to the Swans and has since put his year 12 studies on hold.

In the words of McCartin himself, the journey has been “a whirlwind”.

“When I started at the Swans I just wanted to get in there and have a crack. I just wanted to put my best food forward and I’m very lucky to be playing tomorrow.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet but I’m so excited. It will be great fun and I’m really looking forward to getting out there and having a go.

“John Longmire knocked on the door late last night and gave me the news. I was surprised but it was a good one and I’m looking forward to it.

“I called mum and dad straight after and they were surprised as well but they were over the moon.”

McCartin is the younger brother of St Kilda’s Paddy.

The young Swan was recruited alongside Matt Ling from the Geelong Falcons, the club speedster Gary Rohan once called home.

He signed with the Swans via pick 33 and two-time Swans premiership-winner Lewis Roberts-Thomson presented him with guernsey number 30 in February.

Sydney coach John Longmire said McCartin had left no stone unturned in his early days at the Swans.

“Tom really impressed us from the moment he turned up at the footy Club,” Longmire said.

“He’s a great kid and comes from a great family and we’re really looking forward to his debut.

“We just want him to compete and create a contest in the front half and it’s as simple as that. Anything more is a bonus.”

McCartin has featured in every one of the NEAFL’s four games this season and has averaged 17 touches across his two most recent outings.

The 192-centimetre giant is strong on the lead, can take a great contested grab and is strong off the boot in front of goal.

He will bring height to the Swans’ new-look smaller and speedier forward line in Franklin’s absence.

McCartin will be the tallest Swans forward in the Hawks clash, while utility Dean Towers (189 centimetres) will also being height as the likes of the smaller Tom Papley, Ben Ronke and Will Hayward pounce on the ground ball and apply manic defensive pressure.

McCartin will become the second Swan to make their senior debut after Ronke played his first AFL match in the side’s win over the Geelong Cats in Round 6.