Since 1996 the Sydney Swans have been remarkably consistent, making the finals in 16 out of 19 seasons, playing in five grand finals and winning two premierships.
Part of the Swans success has been their recruiting of players from other clubs. Whether it be bit part players flourishing with more opportunities, bad boys looking for a fresh start or high profile recruits lured by big money offers, the Swans have had them all and plenty in between.
B: Andrew Shauble (Collingwood, 1994-1999 79 games, Sydney 2000-2005 88 games)
A reliable defender Shauble won the Swan’s best and fairest in 2000, his first year at the club. Schauble replaced Andrew Dunkley at full back following his retirement but couldn’t break into the line up for the 2005 premiership.
FB: Ted Richards (Essendon 2002-2005 33 games, Sydney 2006- 198 games)
Richards was swapped for pick 19 by Essendon, and turned into one of the competitions premier defenders with All-Australian selection and a premiership medal in 2012, marking Buddy Frnaklin in the grand final despite carrying an ankle injury. He is on the cusp of 200 games for the Swans.
B: Carig Bolton (Brisbane 2000-2002 29 games, Sydney 2003-2010 170 games)
Bolton couldn’t command a regular spot in the Brisbane Lions all conquering team and was drafted by the Swans with pick 3 of the pre-season draft. He went on to be a dual All-Australian defender (2006, 2009) a premiership player in 2005 and co-captain from 2008-2010. Achilles and ankle injuries prematurely ended his career.
HB: Marty Mattner (Adelaide 2002-2007 98 games, Sydney 2008-2013, 124 games)
Mattner was a solid wingman/defender at Adelaide and became a valuable rebounding defender at Sydeny and played in the 2012 premeirship. Mattner had amazing durability at the Swans missing just one game in his time at the club before a hip injured forced him into retirement after seven rounds in 2013.
CHB: Paul Roos (Fitzroy 1982 – 1994 269 games, Sydney 1995-1998 87 games)
After 14 years at Fitzroy and with the club on its last legs, Roos moved to Sydney at the age of 31 on a 3 year contract. He played 4 seasons at the Swans gaining All-Australian selection in 1996 and 1997 and playing in the 1996 grand final. Roos later career was characterised by being an early adopter of gloves, a late ditcher of the mullet and his cricket-like thigh guard. Roos took over from Rodney Eade as coach in mid 2002 and led Sydney to the 2005 premiership.
HB: Rhys Shaw (Collingwood 2000-2008 94 games, Sydney 2009 – 124 games)
Shaw meandered his way through nine seasons at Collingwood but never really seemed to hit his straps. He was traded to Sydney in exchange for pick 61 and the Swans were able to mould him into a consistent and reliable defender who provided plenty of rebound out of defence. He twice finished second in the Swan’s Best and Fairest (2009 & 2011) and was a premiership player in 2012.
W: Stuart Maxfield (Richmond 1990-95 89, games, Sydney 1996-2005 200 games)
Sydney swapped defender Darren Gasper for wingman Stuart Maxfield from Richmond. Maxfield played in the losing 1996 grand final side and went on to captian the club but missed the 2005 premiership due to injury .
C: Paul Williams (Collingwood 1991-2000 189 games, Sydney 2001-2006 117 games)
Williams was always in the shadow of Nathan Buckley at Collingwood, but he stepped out of that shadow with his move to Sydney and won back to back best and fairest awards in his first two seasons at the Swans. He was also All-Australian in 2003 and was an integral part of the 2005 premiership team.
W: Ben McGlynn (Hawthorn 2006-2009 44 games, Sydney 2010- 66 games)
McGlynn was a elevated off the rookie list at Hawthorn but really took his game to another level in his time at the Swans. He missed the 2012 premiership due to a hamstring injury suffered in the qualifying final against Adelaide.
Ruck: Jason Ball (West Coast 1992-1999 103 games, Sydney 2000-2005 90 games)
A premiership player at West Coast in 1994, Ball was central to the Swans 2005 premiership putting in a herculean effort late in the game urging his team mates on with his head swathed in bandages. He was the first in a long line of ruckmen the Swans have recruited from other clubs since 2000.
RR: Josh Kennedy (Hawthorn 2008-2009 14 games, Sydney 2010- 121 games)
Josh Kennedy is third generation Hawthorn royalty. Grandson of legendary premiership coach John Kennedy and son of 200 game, four time premiership player John Kennedy Jr, Kennedy was recurited to Hawthorn aunder the Father-Son rule. He managed 14 games in two season before the Swans swooped with one of the great AFL trades swapping Josh Kennedy and Ben McGlynn for picks 39, 46 and 70. Kennedy has since developed into a midfield general, with All Australian honours in 2012 and 2014, plus a best and fairest and a premiership medal in 2012.
R: Wayne Schwass (North Melbourne 1988-1997 194 games, Sydney 1998-2002 98 games)
After 10 years at North Melbourne, Wayne Schwass fell out with coach Dennis Pagan after being suspended in the 1997 finals. In a midfielder exchange, the Swans swapped the younger Shannon Grant for the experienced Schwass, in a mutually beneficial trade. Schwass won the Swans Best and Fairest in 1999.
HF: Nick Davis (Collingwood 1999-2002 71 games, Sydney 2003-2008 97 games)
The Swans would not have won the 2005 premiership if if hadn’t been for Davis’ four last quarter goals against Geelong delivered a dramatic victory in the semi final. Davis in now the Swans runner and goalkicking mentor to Lance Franklin.
CHF: Barry Hall (St Kilda 1996-2001 88 games, Sydney 2002-2009 162 games)
Big Bad Bustling Barry Hall arrived in Sydney with a tattoo on his right shoulder that looked like a pair of boxing gloves. Hall soon transformed this image into a fearsome redback spider and was on his way to 7 consecutive leading goal kicker awards (2002-2008) as he booted 467 goals for the Swans, three All Australian selections (2004,2005,2006) , co captaincy (2006-2008) and the 2005 premiership. Hall also won the 2004 best and fairest but his time at Sydney unravelled after he punched Brent Staker in the jaw in 2008 and he called time on his Sydney career mid way through the 2009 season.
HF: Lance Franklin (Hawthorn 2002-2012 189 games, Sydney 2014- 22 games)
Dollars talk. Sydney prised Lance Franklin away from a successful Hawthorn team with the lure of $10 million dollars over 9 years. It was a Godfather offer – too good to refuse.For his part Franklin has already started to repay the investment, generating increased media interest, boosting crowds at the SCG , winning the Coleman medal and gaining All Australian selection in 2014. Franklin was one of Sydney’s best players in their grand final defeat.
FP: Mitch Morton (West Coast 2005-2007 12 games, Richmond 2008-2011 59 games, Sydney 2012-2013 12 games)
Cameo stories don’t come much better than Mitch Morton. After three seasons at West Coast and a four year stint at Richmond, in 2011 Morton fell out of favour with the Tigers and was traded to Sydney for pick 79. He struggled to meet the exacting standards demanded by the Swans but finally made his debut in Round 21, 2012. Morton went on to play the last five games of the season and kicked two vital goals in the Grand Final. He retired due to persistent injuries at the end of 2013 at just 26 years of age.
FF: Tony Lockett (St Kilda 1983-1994 183 games, Sydney 1995-1999, 2002 98 games)
After 12 seasons and 898 goals for StKilda, Plugger skipped away from the media spotlight in Melbourne to call Sydney home. In his first year at the Swans he kicked 110 goals and won the best and fairest award (the year Paul Kelly won the Brownlow). Locket also managed a century of goals in 1996 and 1998, years in which he won the Coleman medal and All-Australian honours. In 1999 Plugger broke the long standing all time goal kicking record of 1299 goals. He is in the Swans team of the century.
FP: Craig O’Brien (Essendon 1989-1991 21 games, St Kilda 1992-1995 52 games, Sydney 1996-2000 41 games)
Craig O”Brien was the small forward foil to Tony Lockett at both StKilda and Sydney. His best effort for the Swans was six goals in the narrow victory over Hawthorn in the 1996 Qualifying Final – a game Lockett missed through injury.
Peter Everitt (St Kilda 1993-2002 180 games, Hawthorn 2003-2006 72 games, Sydney 2007-2008 39 games)
The colourful career of ruckman Peter Spider Everitt concluded at the Sydney Swans. Everitt fell out of favour with Hawthorn coach Alistair Clarkson in 2006, and with the offer of a 2 year deal, arrived at the Swans at the age of 32.
His younger brother of 15 years, Andrejs, is also a three club player and had a few seasons at the Swans (2011-2013, 43 games) in between stints at the Western Bulldogs and his current club, Carlton.
Shane Mumford (Geelong 2008-2009 21 games, Sydney 2010-2013 79 games)
Geelong took on Mumford as a project player in their VFL team in 2007 but after he progressed to the AFL side in 2009 the Swans came in with a big money offer – rumoured to be $1million over 3 years – that the Cats couldn’t hope to match. Mumford finished second in the Swnas best and fairest in his first season at the club and developed into one of the premier ruckmen in the competition. He was a premiership player in 2012.
Darren Jolly (Melbourne 2001-2004 48 games, Sydney 2005-2009 118 games)
After being rookie listed in 2001, Jolly was third choice ruckman at the demons battling with Jeff White and Mark Jamar to get a game. The Swans saw something they liked though and gave up pick 15 to Melbourne in return for Jolly. He repaid the faith, missing just two games in his five years in Sydney and playing in the 2005 premiership sharing ruck duties with Jason Ball.
Derek Kickett (North Melbourne 1989 12 games, Essendon 1990-1993 77 games, Sydney 1994-1996 63 games)
It is well known that Derek Kickett walked out of Essendon after being dropped for the 1993 grand final. He left the premiers and headed to the back to back wooden spoon winners, Sydney. Kickett endured a tough first season, winning the wooden spoon in 1994, before things began to turn around in 1995 with the arrival of Lockett, Roos and Ron Barassi as coach. Kickett’s final game was the 1996 grand final.
Kurt Tippett (Adelaide 2007-2012 104 games, Sydney 2013- 26 games)
Just as it appeared Tippet would return ‘home’ to Queensland, the Swans pounced with a massive cash offer and suddenly Tippet recalled he was born in Sydney and grew up on the Gold Coast so either destination was ‘home’. A 12 match suspension for salary cap cheating at Adelaide didn’t stop Tippet winning the Swans goalkicking in 2013 but knee injuries restricted his output in 2014.
Kevin Dyson (Melbourne 1991-1995 70 games, Sydney 1996-1997 35 games)
Dyson is one of the lesser known players in this list but he was an important cog in the Swans midfield playing as a centreman in 1996.
His route to the Swans started with stints at Fitzroy and Carlton without playing a senior game followed by Oakleigh in the VFA before being picked up by Melbourne and then lured north to Sydney.
Dyson’s career was prematurely ended due to the travel demands of his job (that the club had helped him find) prevented him from fulfilling football training commitments. How times have changed since 1997!
Robbie AhMat (Collingwood 1995-1997 25 games, Sydney 1998-2001 42 games)
AhMat was a goalkicking small forward for both Collingwood and Sydney. His career highlight was winning goal of the year in 2000 for a five bounce run from the half back flank at the SCG.
Of course there are always those player recruited from other clubs who’s time at Sydney didn’t work out quite as well:
Scott Russell (Collingwood) 1999, 16 games
Ryan O’Connor (Essendon) 1999-2000, 24 games
Brett Allison (North Melbourne) 2000, 9 games
Stephen Tingay (Melbourne) 2001, 0 games
Nick Daffy (Richmond) 2002, 1 game
David Spriggs (Geelong) 2005-06, 5 games
Paul Chambers (Geelong) 2006, 12 games
Henry Playfair (Geelong) 2008-2010, 16 games
Daniel Bradshaw (Brisbane) 2010, 9 games
Mark Seaby (West Coast) 2010-2012, 18 games
Tommy Walsh (St Kilda) 2012-2014, 5 games
Have I missed anyone?
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