So, time to kick off the thread about who we draft, trade, contract, delist over the next 12 months.

The most significant recruiting decision will be the choice of who will replace Tom Harley as GM of Football when Harley steps up to replace Andrew Ireland as CEO at the end of 2018. Presumably the club is already advanced in its thinking on this topic. Could the club announce something before the pre-season ends? More likely the announcement will come much later because, presumably, that will be better for the incomerís current employment situation.

Otherwise, in the coaching department we had some timely renewal in 2017 (with the departure of Dew, Francou, Playfair and Taubert and arrival of Cox, Johnson, Kennelly and Laidler) and hopefully our choices prove successful and we stick with them and give their new plans time to bear fruit. I donít think further change will be necessary (apart from the addition of Macca when he stops playing) in the year ahead.

On to the players. Who to recontract, de-list, trade and draft (including are there any free agents we want to bring in)?

Here is a list of the players whose contracts will expire in 2018:

Aliir Aliir
Jordan Foote
Heath Grundy
Jake Lloyd
Jack Maibaum
Harry Marsh
Jarrad McVeigh
Sam Naismith
Nic Newman
Daniel Robinson
James Rose
Nick Smith
Dean Towers
Joel Amartey (Cat A Rookie - 1st Year)
James Bell (Cat B Rookie - 1st Year)
Jake Brown (Cat B Rookie - 1st Year)
Robbie Fox (Cat A Rookie - 2nd Year)
Alex Johnson (Cat A Rookie - 1st Year)
Toby Pink (Cat A Rookie - 2nd Year)
Ben Ronke (Cat A Rookie - 2nd Year)
Angus Styles (Cat A Rookie - 1st Year)

With the rookies I feel it is just too hard to predict. It will really depend on their seasons next year and whether they can continue their development. Chances are at least a couple wonít be with us in 12 monthsí time. I hope AJ and Pink make the grade. I hope they all do.

Jake Lloyd is probably our highest priority re-signing and I expect he will re-signed before the H&A season begins.

Provided he has a strong pre-season, Aliir should be a priority re-signing too. If so, he may be re-signed sooner rather than later. But heís under pressure to rediscover his 2016 form.

Regís extension will depend on how his body holds up. Iím optimistic heíll be with us a little while longer but he probably wonít be extended until later in the season. Ditto Smooch except that heís younger (turns 30 next year) and hasnít had any injury issues to date that I can think of so he might get a multi-year extension and sooner than Reg.

Newman and Naismith have also done enough to feel assured that they will be recontracted beyond 2018, although the arrival of Ling, Stoddart and Styles is going to apply a fair bit of pressure to Newman going forward. He certainly wonít be resting easy this off-season.

James Rose, Harry Marsh, Jordan Foote and Dan Robinson however will be feeling the acid, I think. Of these I consider that Marsh and Robinson are the most versatile and perhaps slightly advantaged for that reason (but by no means safe). Rose is talented and may deserve another go, only not with the Swans, mostly because of the recruitment of Papley, Hayward, Florent since we drafted Rose, all of whom have overtaken him. The latest draftees will be putting more pressure on. Footeís hopes are boosted a little by the fact we havenít drafted any other inside mids this year. His chances may depend not just on his own form but on how Ronke develops and how Fox performs in 2018. I can see Foote moving on to a good career with the Students if he isnít extended with us. I think at least two of these four guys will be cut after next year.

Youíd have to think 2018 is Maccaís final season given that he has been struggling with keeping his body in shape for a while now and the lack of pressure he applies on the field. However his game vision, on-field coaching, mental toughness and disposal remain excellent.

Unlike Hayward, Cameron and Florent, Maibaum of our 2016 draftees hasnít yet had his contract extended. This suggests the club is waiting for him to show a bit more. So he had best get out there and show it. Heís a young KPP and experience shows they take a little longer to develop.

Which leaves us with Towers. Deano had his best season yet in 2017 and has shown he is worthy of playing seniors. Heís also very versatile, especially if you consider he can pinch hit in the ruck. However, given our depth and the developing youth (Florent, Dawson, Ling etc) he may be overtaken and find himself on the fringes with the Swans. For this reason, I think we should see what we might get for him by way of trade. He was a late first round pick but probably hasnít lived up to our hopes and isnít young so if we could get a late 2nd round pick in the 2018 draft, Iíd take it. Depending on how much game time he sees in 2018, Iíd also consider a 3rd round pick. On the other hand, if he has no suitors, he is a worthy depth player and we keep him.

Free agents maintains a list of free agents here: Free Agency - Unfortunately it is not currently up to date but at some stage I suppose theyíll update it.

Given the approach we took over this off-season it seems we have confidence in the list we have and provided at least one of Maibaum/AJ/Aliir break out (or back out in the case of AJ and AA), I donít think we will have any pressing needs. I also canít see us pursuing a really top-line free agent like Tom Lynch, mostly due to the fact that I suspect we have less salary cap freedom than our competitors.


Yes, it would be great if we could trade Tippett. But, given he is contracted, he has to agree and he clearly doesnít want to go anywhere so I canít see this happening unless he is languishing in the reserves and gets sick of it. In that case it will still be hard to trade him because who will want him? So, hopefully he just recovers his best form and blitzes it as our premiere ruckman in which case we can possibly trade Sinclair instead.

The money we have tied up in our ruck stocks is a headache for us given the trend towards playing only one genuine ruckman. We are well equipped for the scenario where you play two rucks because we have four solid options. But this is not a great set-up for the scenario we actually face where you only play one ruckman because none of our rucks are really elite. Whatís the solution?


2018 is tipped to be a bumper draft. The good news for us is

(a) we have an extra 2nd round pick (Collingwoodís); and

(b) we will probably have first dibs on the first round prospect, Nick Blakey, because he is an Academy player (and his dad is on club staff).

Should we try and trade for a pick in the first round ahead of where we think Blakey will be taken to thereby get two first round picks? Will Blakeyís connection with North and Brisbane make it more likely they will bid on him, even if the Swans are going to get first dibs on him?

Hereís an article about the most promising prospects looking at the 2018 draft a year out: Clubs shift focus to 2018 'super' draft -

And hereís are write ups from about our most promising Academy prospects, most of whom were draft eligible this year:

Sam Wicks
Played some really good footy for the Swans reserves and after earning himself a NEAFL Rising Star nomination, was a member of their losing Grand Final side. A small forward who can play as an outside midfielder, Wicks has speed and endurance and is ultra competitive.

Nick Blakey
A key forward with the versatility to play as a midfielder, Blakey's key attribute is his overhead marking. Inherited his father's running ability and is sure to have all three clubs (Brisbane Lions, North Melbourne and Sydney) waiting by the phone next year.

Michael Carroll
A raw prospect that is developing quickly and really came on in 2017. Has good closing speed and is excellent one-on-one, is aggressive, sure footed, and is a good size for a key defender. Was about best on ground for Pennant Hills in their Grand Final win this year.

Conor Flanagan
Reads the play extremely well and a standout in the Swans academy in terms of his professionalism towards his footy. A very handy role player because of his competitiveness and elite endurance.

Jack Hardman
A powerful small forward with a big vertical leap and speed, but needs to work on his endurance and skills over the next 12 months. Has the ingredients to attract plenty of recruiters.

A few pundits thought we might need a KPD in this yearís draft but we didn't. Will that assist Carrollís prospects? (BTW, any relation to Dennis?) I would think we will also be wanting to draft prospects to work in our engine room onball down the track.

Whaddya reckon?