When he entered the league, David Swallow was spoken about as the heir to Gary Ablett’s throne at Gold Coast.
Since then, while having a solid career so far, Swallow has failed to live up to the hype and has been surpassed by players taken after him in the 2010 draft.
Tim Watson and Garry Lyon redrafted the 2010 draft on SEN Breakfast, with neither man picking Swallow, the number one pick, inside the top ten.
For perspective, Lyon and Watson both placed Dyson Heppell, Luke Parker, Andrew Gaff and Swallow’s former teammate Dion Prestia in their top tens, all midfielders selected after Swallow.
While it may seem that Swallow has underwhelmed, he has been a consistent performer throughout his 117 games.
The 25-year-old has never averaged below 18 disposals a game during his seven years in the league and only once has he missed more games than he’s played in a season.
The inside midfielder has struggled with a number of knee injuries over the past three years and this led some to speculate if he would seek a move home to WA.
Any doubt over Swallow’s loyalties were squashed when he signed on with the Suns for five more years, taking him through until 2024.
This means that Swallow is contracted until he’s 30 allowing him to focus on taking the next step to becoming an elite midfielder and a leader at the Suns.
Lyon and Watson discussed the idea of Swallow becoming an elite player on a bad team, using Patrick Cripps and his time at Carlton as a blueprint.
“I don’t know that you could be absolutely certain about what he’s going to be able to produce if he gets a clean run at it,” Watson said on SEN Breakfast.
“He’s had a lot of injuries, hasn’t really been able to get on the track. He’s just signed a long-term contract with the Gold Coast Suns. Will he get to be that sort of (elite) player?”
The 2019 season could prove to be pivotal in Swallow’s career as he moves into what should be his prime.