Bulldozing on-baller Chad Warner is relishing calling two of the league’s toughest midfielders his teammates in his new chapter as a Sydney Swans footballer.
Sydney swept up Warner from Western Australian club East Fremantle with pick 39 at last week’s AFL Draft.
The 18-year-old then arrived at the club for his first day in red and white on Monday, which saw him join bullocking midfield duo Josh Kennedy and Luke Parker for pre-season training at Lakeside Oval.
Warner is thrilled to be learning his craft under the All Australian pair.
“I’m basically just a tough inside mid and a tackling machine,” Warner told SwansTV.
“I love racking up the contested footy, I’ve got a good overheard mark, I’ve got a pretty good leap and I like to play forward a bit too, kicking a few snags.
“I can’t wait to compete against Josh Kennedy and Luke Parker at training and it’ll be great to play with them in a game, where we can link up and hopefully get a few wins for the Swans."
Warner was a stand-out for Western Australia in the 2019 AFL Under-18 Championships, posting an average of 18.2 possessions (50 per cent contested), 3.2 clearances and 6.8 tackles per game.
The Aquinas College graduate was also pivotal for East Fremantle at Colts level this year, averaging 27.1 disposals, 7.4 tackles and 6.4 clearances.
He gave an insight into the rollercoaster ride of an AFL hopeful on draft day.
“The unknown of it all was probably the biggest thing,” Warner said.
“It was just crazy waking up the next morning and being on an AFL list. The day before you have no idea what’s going to happen: if you get drafted, which club or if you stay at home because you don’t get taken. But waking up as an AFL player was definitely a big relief.”