Sydney and Geelong have gone their separate ways when it comes to recruiting across the last decade, but it can be said both clubs have managed to uncover hidden gems one way or another.

The two sides will come face-to-face on Saturday to decide the 2022 premiership season, with stars, stalwarts and surprising restorations combining to construct a litter of storylines that will culminate in the grand final.

The Cats have remained true to recruiting externally, adding older heads across the years while continuing to nurture their kittens behind closed doors, only to eventually unleash them at the right time.

The Swans have developed a pedigree of draft recruitment and development like no other in the past 10 years, while also plucking undesired assets from rival clubs to help their own rebuild on the run.

Each side has plenty of prospects to claim the premiership, and ahead of the grand final we take a look at each side's 26-man squad for Saturday and how each name landed their chance of a flag...

Geelong's squad can be broken down somewhat equally, with less than half of their grand final cohort recruited through the most popular mechanism of the National Draft.

11 players were recruited through the draft, while a further 7 were plucked out of the Rookie Draft, including the likes of Mark Blicavs, Tom Atkins and Jack Henry.

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Since 2014, Geelong have added six players through trading that have been named in the 26-man squad, with the earliest being Rhys Stanley from St Kilda.

Gary Rohan is set to face his former side on Saturday, while Cats superstar Jeremy Cameron was traded to Geelong from GWS after initially exercising his rights as a restricted free agent.

Former Hawks champion Isaac Smith is one of only two players Geelong have recruited through free agency, with 2022 All-Australian and arguably the recruit of the year Tyson Stengle selected as a delisted free agent.



National Draft
Joel Selwood - Pick 7 (2006)
Tom Hawkins - Pick 41 (2006)
Mitch Duncan - Pick 28 (2009)
Cameron Guthrie - Pick 23 (2010)
Jed Bews - Pick 86 (2011)
Jake Kolodjashnij - Pick 41 (2013)
Brandan Parfitt - Pick 26 (2016)
Tom Stewart - Pick 40 (2016)
Gryan Miers - Pick 57 (2017)
Sam De Koning - Pick 19 (2019)
Max Holmes - Pick 20 (2020)

Rookie Draft
Sam Menegola - Pick 19 (2010)
Mark Blicavs - Pick 54 (2011)
Zach Guthrie - Pick 33 (2016)
Jack Henry - Pick 16 (2016)
Mark O'Connor - Category B Rookie (2016)
Tom Atkins - Pick 11 (2018)
Bradley Close - Pick 14 (2019)


Rhys Stanley - St Kilda (2014)
Patrick Dangerfield - Adelaide (2015)
Zach Tuohy - Carlton (2016)
Gary Rohan - Sydney (2018)
Jeremy Cameron - GWS (2020)
Jonathon Ceglar - Hawthorn (2021)

Free agency 

Isaac Smith - Hawthorn (2020)
Tyson Stengle - N/A (2022)

Sydney's breakdown favours the draft mechanisms much stronger than Geelong, with 22 of their 26-listed squad members taken through either the National Draft or Rookie avenues.

Isaac Heeney, Callum Mills, Nick Blakey, Errol Gulden and Braeden Campbell are all graduates of Sydney's Academy, while Luke Parker (Pick 40, 2010), Tom McCartin (Pick 33, 2017) and Chad Warner Pick (39, 2019) have been bargain recruits through the National Draft.

But it may be the Rookie Draft where the Swans have been most fruitful, with defensive stalwarts Dane Rampe and Jake Lloyd, and livewire Tom Papley among those recruited to Sydney after initially being overlooked.

Free agency selections don't come more illustrious than Lance Franklin, whose nine-year deal to join the Swans ended this year. Like Stengle and the Cats, Sydney's only other free agency acquisition was a shrewd one, handing former No.1 Pick Paddy McCartin an AFL lifeline as a defender, a role he has flourished in.

Their trading has also uncovered diamonds out of the rough, with ruckman Tom Hickey now hoping to find premiership success at his fourth club after moving from West Coast at the end of the 2020 season. Former Roo Ryan Clarke joined Sydney two years prior and has found his feet under John Longmire in the back-end of this year.



National Draft
Sam Reid -Pick 38 (2009)
Luke Parker - Pick 40 (2010)
Isaac Heeney - Pick 18 (2014)
Callum Mills - Pick 3 (2015)
Oliver Florent - Pick 11 (2016)
Will Hayward - Pick 21 (2016)
Tom McCartin Pick 33 (2017)
Nick Blakey - Pick 10 (2018)
James Rowbottom - Pick 25 (2018)
Justin McInerney - Pick 44 (2018)
Dylan Stephens - Pick 5 (2019)
Will Gould - Pick 26 (2019)
Chad Warner - Pick 39 (2019)
Logan McDonald - Pick 4 (2020)
Braeden Campbell - Pick 5 (2020)
Errol Gulden - Pick 32 (2020)

Rookie Draft
Harry Cunningham - Pick 93 (2011)
Dane Rampe - Pick 37 (2012)
Jake Lloyd - Pick 16 (2012)
Tom Papley - Pick 14 (2015)
Robbie Fox - Pick 34 (2016)
Hayden McLean - SSP (2018)


Ryan Clarke - North Melbourne (2018)
Tom Hickey - West Coast (2020)

Free agency 

Lance Franklin - Hawthorn (2013)
Paddy McCartin - N/A (2022)