Swan flies high after Combine invite

MAROOCHYDORE utility Amber Swan is one of 12 Queenslanders to earn a place at the upcoming AFLW Draft Combine, with the Lions Academy member overcoming an ankle injury in the lead-up to the national carnival not stopping her from having an impact.

In speaking to Rookie Me Central ahead of that national carnival, Swan was expecting to be unimpeded by the issue. She would go on to play all three games, which she was honoured to do.

“It’s such a privilege, it’s so exciting,” Swan said. “The girls are so good, they get around each other and it’s such a great little group we have.”

A natural midfielder/forward, Swan joined a long list of rotational options through the on-ball brigade, and the 164cm talent average 5.0 disposals and 3.3 tackles at the championships. Though no a massive ball-winner, Swan’s eye-catching traits – which include her balance of speed and defensive pressure – are what endeared her to AFLW clubs to earn a Draft Combine invite.

“I think definitely clearances, getting it out of packs and groundballs and running through groups, speed and tackling (are my strengths),” Swan said. “(I’m) still looking to working on finding best options with the kicking and maybe positioning and all that sort of stuff. Just getting better in little areas.”

Swan’s football journey is a more traditional one, having signed up as a young teenager when the game was growing in her area. Soon, she was a part of the Roos’ program and the top-ager has never looked back.

“I started playing for school when I was in Year 7 just because our school was really big on AFL,” Swan said. “Then I played Under 13s for Maroochydore and I’ve just played ever since and just love it.”

Though she has spent significant time in the rehab group, it came at a more fortunate period in between the Coates Talent League games for the Lions Academy, and the Queensland state games. Swan was able to learn off a number of AFLW players about not just the on-field work, but the off-field preparation and recovery too.

“They’re so good at rehab,” Swan said. “Belle (Dawes) and Nat (Grider) and obviously Zielkes (Emma Zielke) as our coaches throughout the year, they definitely set standard and set a really good representation for us and what we should be striving towards and definitely closing the gap between Academy playing and AFLW standards.”

Currently, Swan is working hospitality while studying physiotherapy in her first year of university. Edging closer to the end of 2023, the Sunshine Coast AFLW draft prospect said she would love to play for Brisbane at the elite level, but would go wherever it took to get to that next level.

“Definitely Brisbane, just at home, would be amazing,” Swan said. “But I don’t really mind, wherever. Playing AFL just itself would be a dream in itself as a job.”

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