Star junior Nick Blakey, has chosen the Sydney Sydney as his preferred destination at the end of this year, with the Swans winning out over North Melbourne and the Brisbane Lions.
Blakey, Sydney Swans academy prospect and son of former Lions and Roos’ star John Blakey, could have joined the Roos or Lions as a father-son in this years’ AFL Draft.
The Swans won the battle for the highly rated youngster, who has told North Melbourne that he wants to join the club as an academy player, rather than join North Melbourne as a father-son.
The Brisbane Lions have also been made aware of Nicks’ choice to remain with the Swans, after his father John played 135-games with the club, as well as 224-games with the Kangaroos.
John Blakey has been a long-time assistant coach with the Sydney Swans, and his son Nick is an avid Sydney Swans fan, having become close to several Sydney players in recent years.
The highly rated 196cm forward has been touted as a potential top-3 prospect in this years’ talent-laden AFL Draft.
North Melbourne had been expecting Blakey to nominate the Swans, who still must draft him via the bidding process for academy players.
Blakey is almost certainly going to cost the Swans their first three selections at the draft, with many expecting him to be selected in the first round.
Many will view it as a bargain, given the talent and natural ability the highly rated teenager has shown, and the likelihood of Sydney playing finals again this year.
Appearing on Fox Footy's AFL 360 in April, Nick said that it doesn’t matter where he ends up, as long as he plays football.
“I didn’t play much footy last year because I had stress fractures in my back, so hopefully this year I can put together some good football and then I’ll have to make that decision later on the year,” Blakey said.
“You speak to (clubs) and they know where you’re coming from. But they’ve left it up to my family and especially Sydney, they’ve been really good with obviously Dad being a coach there. They haven’t put any external pressure on me making a decision whatsoever.”
“There’s obviously a little bit of pressure considering what Dad’s done, but at the end of the day we all want to play football and we all want to get drafted.
“If it’s North, Sydney, or Brisbane I’ll be happy, but if it’s any other club I’ll be happy. It doesn’t really bother me.”
The 18-year-old has been in terrific form this year for the Swans academy, in the under-18 academy series, kicking 12-goals in two games.
Nick sees himself as a tall midfielder in the future, and has wowed recruiters with his excellent left foot skills.
Should the Swans pick Blakey up through the academy bidding process, he will follow in the footsteps of Isaac Heeney and Callum Mills, two of the Swans’ most successful academy graduates.
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