The Swans were anticipated to be busy in the trade period with the imminent departures of uncontracted players Tom Mitchell and Toby Nankervis. Xavier Richards later requested a trade in the 2nd week of the trade period, while Dean Towers played the field. All up, the Swans traded away 2 players and improved their overall draft position, moving into the top 10.
Apart from the Tom Mitchell affair, quite obviously Hawthorn's first draft choice, previously courted a number of times, as well as his agent doing his best to get him to his destination club, the Swans were quiet. There were the usual murmurings of player unrest, especially those that were uncontracted, as well as the nonsense that's often vomited on Twitter. At one point, right before Jaeger O'Meara signed for Hawthorn, there was a rumour that the Swans were swooping in for him. Never going to happen, we're after Fyfe! See, anyone can start crap like that without any proof.
As for our uncontracted players, Toby Nankervis was expected to be traded, with Richmond the most likely destination. It was mooted before the trade period had begun, as far back as the preliminary final when he was dropped for Kurt Tippett, after his career best game against the Crows. Even though the Swans had made it clear that they wanted to keep him, he wasn't going to anything more than depth, after Sam Naismith had made himself undroppable.
Xavier Richards stunningly requested to be traded to Melbourne club, only for his manager to say that he wishes to remain in Sydney after the trade period ended. He joins Dean Towers as two players who've had contracts offered earlier in the season, withdrawn and re-offered in the off-season.
The Swans have positioned themselves brilliantly for the upcoming draft, trading their way into the top 10 with 2 picks in the top 20. Only GWS traded better for a top finishing club, although they had an astonishing depth of talent that they could trade with and demand quality for each one. Deciphering the indicative trade order on the Swans site, the club has the following picks:
- 9 (R1, Port Adelaide > Swans)
- 19 (Priority R1, Brisbane Lions > Port Adelaide > Swans)
- 46 (R3, Richmond > Swans)
- 49 (R3, Port Adelaide > Swans)
- 93 (R5)
- 111 (R6)
- 129 (R7)
- 147 (R8)
The Swans traded their original pick of 17, as well as the 14 they received from Hawthorn to Port Adelaide for picks 9, 19 and 49. They also traded picks 39 and 52 to GWS for pick 31.
It's easy for outsiders to score the Swans poorly on their trade period, but having to strip an additional $600k from the TPP (total player payments) salary cap and re-contract their important players, the Swans didn't have any room to negotiate. They offered players potentially below market rates and they decided to continue their careers elsewhere.
Moving into the top 10 in a deep midfielders draft and securing the priority pick from Port Adelaide was a fantastic outcome. It gives the Swans 2 bites at the cherry, with emphasis surely on a fast midfielder and strong midfielder with the first 2 picks.
I give the Swans B+.
While picks 14 and 17 looked like a fantastic position, 9 improves the clubs' chances of picking up the player or players they're targeting. While Richards and Towers didn't attract much attention, keeping Nankervis would have been the priority. Losing him creates a depth problem, with just 3 ruckman on the list, they're 1 long term injury away from playing Sam Reid in the ruck. I shudder with the thought.
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