Main content
Proudly Sydney

By the numbers: Will Hayward

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 10: Will Hayward of the Swans and team mates celebrate winning the round eight AFL match between the Sydney Swans and the Essendon Bombers at Sydney Cricket Ground on May 10, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/AFL Photos/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 10: Will Hayward of the Swans and team mates celebrate winning the round eight AFL match between the Sydney Swans and the Essendon Bombers at Sydney Cricket Ground on May 10, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/AFL Photos/Getty Images)

Will Hayward is proving the AFL’s #1 goal-kicking whiz from the 2016 AFL Draft.

Set to play his 50th game against the Gold Coast Suns at the SCG tomorrow afternoon, Hayward has kicked more goals than any other player from the same draft.

With 61 majors in 49 games, he leads 38-game Melbourne forward Mitch Hannan (46) and 53-game Brisbane midfielder Hugh McCluggage (33).

Hayward, taken by the Swans with selection #21, sits sixth on the list of games played by 2016 draftees which is headed by Geelong’s Tom Stewart, who was drafted at #40.

The only others ahead of Hayward are Carlton’s #6 Sam Petrevski-Seton (55), Essendon #1 pick Andrew McGrath (54), #3 McCluggage (53), GWS #2 Tim Taranto (50) and Port Adelaide’s #18 Sam Powell-Pepper (50).

Sydney’s Oliver Florent, pick #11, has played 45 games and sits just behind four others pushing towards 50 games: North Melbourne #12 Jy Simpksin (47), Carlton’s pick #25 Zac Fisher (47), Geelong’s #26 Brendan Parfitt (46), and Brisbane’s #17 Jarrod Berry (46).

Barring a six-goal bag against the Suns, Hayward will have kicked more goals in his first 50 career games than all his 2019 Swans teammates except three – Lance Franklin (105), Dan Menzel (91) and Tom Papley (67).

The classy South Australian, who will be 20 years and 246 days old tomorrow, also will be the second-youngest 50-gamer among current Swans behind Franklin (20 years 187 days).

And, among 326 Swans players all-time who have played 50 games for the club, he will 15th youngest and one of just 23 players to reach 50 games before his 21st birthday.

The youngest Swans players to 50 games have been Brownlow Medallist and Team of the Century centre half back Ron Clegg at (19 years 272 days in 1947) and 91-game key defender/ruckman Bob Kingston at (19 years 348 days in 1964).

Eighteen players posted their 50th game for the Swans after their 30th birthday, headed by five 33-year-olds: 1933 premiership captain-coach and Team of the Century coach Jack Bisset was 33 years 351 days in 1934, Dinny Kelleher was 33 years 227 days in 1936, Paul Roos 33 years 311 days in 1997, Derek Kickett 33 years 261 days in 1996 and Bill Fraser 33 years 93 days in 1900.

Eleven players have kicked 100 goals in their first 50 games for the club: Tony Lockett (259), Warwick Capper (168), Lance Franklin (167), Ted Johnson (162), Barry Hall (149), Bob Pratt (137), Roy Moore (135), John Roberts (135), Austin Robertson (120), Tony Morwood (108) and Laurie Nash (105).

With a 28-21 win/loss record through 49 games, Hayward sits mid-table among wins in his first 50 games. Twenty-eight players have had 35 wins or more, headed by 1933 premiership pair Dinny Kelleher (43) and Jock McKenzie (40).

Menzel had a 41-9 record through his first 50 games at Geelong, while Lloyd boasts the best win/loss 50-game record among current players who started at the club at 38-12.

Hayward will be the 10th player to play 50 games in jumper #9 behind Nick Malceski (171), David Ackerly (127), Wayne Henwood (78), Bob Giles (67), Shannon Grant (58), Hec McKay (57), Gerald Crough (56), Charles Stanbridge (55) and Len Thomas (51).

He will play his 25th game at the SCG tomorrow, having played at 10 different venues in each mainland state capital, and will hope to beat one of only two opposition clubs he has never beaten. The other is Port Adelaide.