Mackenzie Dixon -


SYDNEY may not have made it as far in the finals as in previous years last season, but they have one thing that the clubs in WA, Victoria & SA don’t: an academy program.

With several former Academy members, including Brandon Jack, Lloyd Perris and Sam Naismith, have recently progressed to the senior ranks at the Sydney Swans, this year could see another, maybe even two join the ranks of the bloods.


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Key Target

Callum Mills (NSW/ACT Rams)

As a member of the Swans academy, in previous years the swans would’ve been able to pick up this certain first round draft pick for next-to-nothing. But now with the rejig of the academy and father-son player bidding system, things get a little tricker for the list managers at Sydney.

A ready made, dominant inside midfielder who has the ability to read the play extremely well for someone his age, Mills is probably the second best midfielder in this draft next to Jacob Hopper. From all reports, Mills also possesses an excellent character and this shines through in his workrate on gamed, something which will make clubs love him even more.

Likely Picks

The Swans are also expected to pick up father-son prospect Josh Dunkley, although he is considering his options and is no certainty to nominate as a future Swan. Should he nominate as a father-son, it’s likely we won’t see much else action from the swans as the bidding process could take away a lot of their late round picks.


There’s not likely to be many unforeseen movements from the Swans, as picking up these two players are definitely the top of their priority list. If anything, once they get these two players, we could see Sydney shut up shop, and wait to see what happens in the rookie and pre-season drafts to try and fill up their list.

Where does this leave them

We don’t expect Sydney to finish in the top four again this year, as they are slowly on the way out of their premiership window. However they should make the eight, and these two players, especially Callum Mills, would provide a great presence in the centre of the ground for the Swans to possibly recapture an elimination finals birth.


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