The Sydney Swans Reserves are made up of the players that were not selected in the senior team, plus "top-up" players who do not hold a professional contract with the club.
North East Australian Football League (NEAFL) (2011 - present)
Along with the rest of the AFL Canberra competition, the Swans were absorped into the new North East Australian Football League (NEAFL) Eastern Conference. This league is essentially consists of the Canberra teams, with the new addition of Greater Western Sydney Giants, with some crossover games with sides from the old QAFL league. In the Swans case, all the crossover games involve the reserves sides of the Brisbane Lions and the brand new Gold Coast Suns. This move was undertaken with the view of providing greater competition for the reserves teams of the 4 participating AFL clubs (or 3 currently and GWS playing their only side in the NEAFL) who have restrictions on playing numbers when playing the non-AFL sides.
See main article: Reserves 2016
See main article: Reserves 2015
See main article: Reserves 2014
See main article: Reserves 2013
See main article: Reserves 2012
See main article: Reserves 2011
AFL Canberra (2003 - 2010)
The Swans entered the AFL Canberra competition in 2003, signing a five-year deal with that organisation. At the end of the 2007 season, despite rumours of a move to the VFL, the club re-signed for a further 3 years "Deal struck for Reserves"
The Reserves are usually the curtain-raiser (with the odd exception) for the Seniors game. As a result of this, a lopsided draw has resulted with the Reserves playing more home games than away games. However, any home advantage is forfeited during the finals, when all games are played in Canberra.
From 2006-2008, after the departure of the Wagga Tigers, there were 3 byes during the season to compensate for the odd number of teams. From 2009, due to the demise of the Canberra Wildcats (formerly known as the Weston Creek Lions) there were still 3 byes to coincide with Easter, the AFL Canberra representative game and ?
It has been mooted that with the introduction of GC17 and GWS, that the Swans and Bribane Lions reserves team would combine with the 2 new clubs to play in a new seconds competition. (http://www.realfooty.com.au/news/general/succession-plan-lure-ports-williams-to-harbour-city/2009/11/09/1257615001013.html)
See main article: Reserves 2006
See main article: Reserves 2007
See main article: Reserves 2008
See main article: Reserves 2009
See main article: Reserves 2010
VFL (2001 - 2002)
The Swans were aligned with VFL club Port Melbourne during this period, when the club would send up to 12 players to play with Port Melbourne. The Swans had no input into the positions that these players were assigned. The remaining players would play with the Redbacks, who weren't as competitive as they were in 2000, missing the finals in both years
After the abandonment of the AFL-wide reserves competition, the Swans fielded a team in the Sydney Football League called the Redbacks. The Redbacks dominated the competition and finished at the top of the ladder, but did not participate in the finals.
AFL reserves competition (1926 - 1999)
Simon Arnott won the Gardiner Medal in 1998 for the best and fairest in the reserves competition.<ref name="V/AFL Reserves Premiers and Gardiner Medallists">http://www.fullpointsfooty.net/v_afl_reserves_premiers_and_gardiner_medallists.htm</ref >