In a matter of minutes Swans star Callum Mills went from pulling on his footy boots for a blockbuster showdown against the Giants, to being forced to watch the game from his room in hotel quarantine on the Gold Coast. 

The chaotic changes unfolded an hour before the Sydney derby after Mills along with Harry Cunningham, Colin O’Riordan and Callum Sinclair were re-classified as Tier-2 contacts due to attending a rugby match in Victoria. 

The star midfielder caught up with 3AW's Sportsday program on Thursday evening. 

“It was really weird to be honest. We got told 3 minutes before our normal on field warm up," Mills said.

"We got pulled into the coaches room and told we’re a chance not to be playing and judging by Charlie [Gardiner] and Horse’s [John Longmire] face they were serious.

"We were a bit shocked, but the best thing out of what happened is that we got the win. It was a pretty annoying experience to be honest, but the fact that the boys got on with it and got a win made everything a bit easier.”

The Swans were able to produce a hard fought 26-point victory over their cross town rivals, but Mills admits the first half wasn’t easy to watch as the Swans were forced to recover from a 35-point deficit.

“It was pretty stressful. We’ve had some slow starts this year but the best thing is we’ve largely been able to claw our way back into the contest," Mills said.

"I was definitely stressed after the first quarter that’s for sure, but when we kicked the last three in the second quarter and we changed a few things around we started to get going. The second half we were on fire which was really nice to see. As hard as it was, it was nice to see.”

06:00 Mins
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The four Swans players were relocated as a group to a quarantine house at Broadbeach on the Gold Coast.  

“We got some training equipment dropped off today. You turn into different creatures when you go into isolation so we’re filling in time, I don’t know how but it’s going slow.

"We got a treadmill dropped off and a couple of bikes so I think we’ll be alright. It’s only about 10 days all up because of the 4 days that we found out afterwards so hopefully we don’t lose too much fitness and we can get back into it.

"You go stir crazy when you sit around in a house for too long so everyone is keen to just get up and keep moving and get a bit of a sweat on which is nice.

"Harry has had his music playing which has been nice around the house.”

The Swans are making a strong push for September football, and while many have been surprised at club’s success in 2021 Mills believes it has been building for some time now.

“We saw a glimpse of it towards the end of last year. In those last 4 or 5 games, we showed a lot of promise and a lot of signs of good football and this year we’ve been able to string it together a bit more.

"We obviously made tweaks in the off-season which helped but I don’t think you can flick a switch and all of a sudden start playing good football. I think the foundations need to be set over pre-season and for us over the back end of last year too.”