Sydney Swans insist Aliir Aliir and Kurt Tippett are going no where

Sydney Swans Head of Football Tom Harley insists that Kurt Tippett and Aliir Aliir are staying put with the Swans.

Kurt Tippett played nine games in an injury-interrupted 2017, dogged by ankle issues throughout the year, eventually missing the finals with Callum Sinclair and Sam Naismith preferred over him.

Tippett's extension has been incorrectly reported for months now, with the big man extending his stay with the Swans until 2020 earlier this season.

That hasn't stopped the trade speculation however, despite the fact his contract is far less than what it used to be, and more affordable for a club in need of a power forward (The Age really needs to fact-check).

"[Tippett] had a wretched year. He had a ripping pre-season, which is the disappointing part now. He hurt his ankle in round two, he battled his way through that," Harley said on SEN.

"He's going to require some surgery on his ankle, the extent of that is to be determined.

"He really battled and I know it was outside of the glare of the AFL media bubble, but he battled pretty manfully to get himself up to play a couple of those AFL games and certainly in the NEAFL, so he's going to be better for the surgery and remains an important part of our team."

Defender Aliir Aliir had an even more difficult season that Tippett, dealing with injuries throughout the season, starting way back in the pre-season with his medial injury suffered in last years grand final.

Fast forward 12 months and he's endured a wretched run, including turf toe that kept him out of the side early in the season, an interrupted pre-season and persistent knee issues.

The 23-year-old managed just three games for the Swans this season, all losses, before he was dropped from the side for poor form after round four.

Harley is adamant his future lies with the Swans, despite reports to the contrary.

"Aliir is contracted. He was the opposite to Kurt in terms of his off-season and pre-season. He had a really interrupted [pre-season] and his year last year was built on the back of a really strong foundation of fitness and training and competition," Harley said.

"He wasn't able to do that but his form started to really pick up towards the end of the year. We went for a smaller side against Essendon and also Geelong. Aliir was just on the fringe of that but [he's] absolutely required.

"He's an integral part of not only next year but the next 10 years. We've got Heath Grundy, who's been a fantastic key defender for us [and] who's probably got a couple of years to go, and we see Aliir playing a significant part in that transition. So his future is certainly with us from Aliir's point of view."

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Justin Mitchell

Justin is a passionate AFL and Sydney Swans supporter, and football blogger since 2016. All articles are of his own opinion. You can reach him by twitter and Facebook at @theswansblog

Melbourne, Australia http://theswansblog.com

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