2023 AFL Draft Review: Sydney

SYDNEY once again lived up to its ‘Bidney’ moniker before picking up a pair of talls and as many academy graduates across this year’s AFL Draft. We recap the Swans’ haul with a look at what each new player offers and the workings behind their selections.

>> UPDATED: Every Pick in the 2023 AFL Draft


16. Will Green
24. Caiden Cleary
53. Patrick Snell


11. Sam Reid (re-listed)
Indhi Kirk (Category B)

>> ANALYSIS: Big winners, bolters & sliders

Sydney’s first pick was poised at 12 coming into the draft, but ended up being pushed back to 16 after the bidding process. The Swans accounted for two bids themselves, putting the onus on Gold Coast and Western Bulldogs for Jake Rogers and Jordan Croft respectively. Both bids were duly matched.

The policy was to then select the best available player, which ended up being 204cm ruck Will Green. His endurance, footy IQ and skills were all traits which appealed to Sydney, who see him impacting over the next 24 months. In particular, Green’s late-season form put him into first round contention.

Hailing from a cricketing background, Green has plenty of development left but his potential has been highly rated for some time having made the National Academy and co-captained Northern. His breakout games came in Knights colours, too, where the Swans were watching on closely.

After making two bids before their opening pick, the Swans somewhat got a taste of their own medicine when academy product Caiden Cleary attracted a first round bid from Collingwood. Recruiting manager Simon Dalrymple said it was “a fraction early”, but had prepared to match in the eventual range (pick 24).

Sydney was buoyed by his development this year, with the midfielder’s endurance and work ethic considered his greatest strengths. He’ll likely slot into the Swans’ group of inside mids and with a touch more polish, could well impact in year one given his physical attributes.

A shrewd bit of recruiting saw Sydney snap up Patrick Snell with its final pick of the National Draft. Having snared Harry Arnold from Brisbane’s VFL list mid-season, the Swans also prized Lions Academy member Patrick Snell without having to make a bid, given he was ineligible for priority access.

Snell, a Northern Territory native, did not spend the required amount of time in the Lions’ academy. That considered, he fit a need for key defenders at Sydney and played under Swans Academy coach Mark McVeigh with the Allies.

Sydney sees him as a lockdown tall defender at 194cm, with competitiveness among his top traits. He fares well aerially and can hold his own in the contest, while also having the dexterity to follow up or develop in other key position posts.

Another Northern Academy member rounded out Sydney’s crop, with Indhi Kirk placed onto the club’s Category B rookie list. The son of Brett is a chip off the old block and made solid strides as an over-ager this year, representing the Swans and Allies.

He measures up at 179cm but is tough as you’d expect, while also possessing slick foot skills in the short-range. Having cut his teeth as a rotating forward, he enjoyed more midfield minutes in 2023 and has the work rate to potentially slot in on a wing.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments