The Swans are facing the prospect of a code stoush with the NRL's Canterbury Bulldogs for a talented multi-code youngster.

Prospective forward-midfielder Mitchell Woods, who is currently a member of Sydney's talented Academy crop, has also been featuring prominently for Canterbury's underage squad; the NRL club at which he's thought to be likely to kickstart his sporting career.

While the 17-year-old has partaken in five games for Sydney's Academy team this year in addition to his Bulldogs commitments, Canterbury is considered in the box seat to secure Woods' long-term services.

The NRL club has reportedly tabled Woods a five-year contract to play for the Bulldogs, with club GM Phil Gould understood to be playing a large part in that ongoing process.

According to's Josh Gabelich, Canterbury expects a definitive answer from Woods regarding his code preference sooner rather than later.

After participating in the NSW Waratahs juniors' upcoming September clash with the Queensland Reds, Woods plans to play in the AFL's 'Futures' game on Grand Final day.

Swans list manager Kinnear Beatson admitted Sydney is facing an uphill battle to retain Woods, who, once he comes of age, can immediately sign a lucrative rugby league contract as opposed to having to go through the AFL's thorough draft process before earning a two-year deal as a draftee.

The Swans faced a similar situation when they lost out on teenage prospect Navren Willett to the NRL's Wests Tigers, who offered the youngster a salivating four-year contract to turn down Sydney's AFL overtures.

Speaking via show Gettable, Beatson stated the Swans' challenge lies in the stark differences between the codes' recruitment systems.

"Sunday was the first time I'd see him play for a year. The last time I'd seen him play was for the Swans under-16 team on the Gold Coast. He hasn't played a lot of footy. It is hard to assess exactly where he sits. He looks like a good athlete, good pace, great step, but in terms of his footy IQ and knowledge we haven't seen a lot of it yet," Beatson said on Gettable.

"Mitch has a contract in front of him from [the Bulldogs]. For Mitch, he can just accept the contract and walk to that rugby league team. (There is) no draft (in the NRL), he doesn't have to worry about whether we match the bid or whatever.

"It [the challenge to compete with the NRL] is real in the New South Wales market. We missed a boy at the start of this year in Navren Willett who went to the Wests Tigers. We thought he had the potential to play key position. He walked straight into the rugby club (Canterbury), no complications, didn't have to go through a draft."

While Woods' main focus this year has seemingly been on his rugby league prospects, the burgeoning youngster participated in an under-17s Australian Rules game last weekend, representing New South Wales as they played Victoria Metro at Avalon Airport Oval.

If Woods bucks the trend and stays the course with the Swans, the utility could follow in the footsteps of past Sydney Academy graduates that have gone on to forge impactful footballing careers; including the likes of captain Callum Mills, Isaac Heeney, Nick Blakey, Errol Gulden, Braeden Campbell and Sam Wicks, with 18-year-old Academy Swans midfielder Caiden Cleary likely to be next in line come November's draft.

With no final decision seeming imminent, there appears a bit to play out before Woods comes to a definitive choice on his promising sporting future.