Sydney Swans recruit Kaiden Brand admits the last month has made for a rollercoaster ride, but the key defender is now single-minded about blitzing his shot in the harbour city.
The 25-year-old didn’t have a clue what his future would hold when Hawthorn delisted him on October 17, unsure whether he’d land at another Victorian club, get scooped up interstate or if he’d even receive a second AFL lifeline.
The Swans handed Brand an AFL lifeline when they signed him last Friday, and after tackling his first training session in red and white at Moore Park’s Lakeside Oval on Wednesday, he said he was ready to flourish.
“It’s obviously hard being in limbo not knowing where you’re going to be for the next couple of years. But you’ve just got to chill out, keep training and wait for whatever comes,” Brand told SwansTV.
“I’m really excited to be here now and I’m really excited to get stuck in. I just want to keep getting fitter and fine-tuning my skills over the pre-Christmas period. I also want to meet all the guys and hit January running.”
Brand was secured by Hawthorn with pick 66 at the 2012 AFL Draft and broke through for his senior debut in Round 7, 2016.
The South Australian made 43 appearances in Hawks colours and faced the Swans at the SCG in Round 14 this year when he last took to the turf.
He’ll link up with fellow key defender Dane Rampe when the Sydney co-captain returns for pre-season training on November 18, combining forces with an All Australian backman and the Swans’ reigning Club Champion.
Brand said he would relish the chance to join a player of Rampe's calibre in defence.
“I’m super-excited to play in defence with Dane,” Brand said.
“Hopefully I can give him a bit of a chop-out and help him out. I’m really excited to play with him and also the other guys down in defence.”
Sydney also used the delisted free agency period to welcome former Port Adelaide small forward Sam Gray, who was also at Lakeside Oval for his first training session as a Swan on Monday.
Brand and Gray joined Sydney’s second- to fifth-year players for Wednesday’s session by choice and will officially commence pre-season training on November 18.