Sheather striving to be Sydney’s newest rookie list success
In recent years the AFL’s Rookie Draft has become an avenue for clubs to give discarded players another chance or to downgrade players from the primary list.
But the Sydney Swans have proven there is still value in going to the Rookie Draft with an aim to choose a youngster who has yet to experience football at the highest level.
There are a host of players in Sydney’s history who were drafted as rookies and blossomed into stars of the game, including Brett Kirk, Kieren Jack, Heath Grundy, Nick Smith, Dane Rampe and Jake Lloyd.
Now, Sydney’s newest rookie recruit Marc Sheather is striving to be the next name on the esteemed list.
“As they say when you come in a number is a number,” Sheather told aflnswact.com.au.
“I’ve spoken to James Bell, he came off the rookie list and has played some really good football at the senior level.
“Watching people like James and Sam (Wicks) come off the rookie list and get a senior opportunity recently highlights the faith the club has in the rookie system.”
Touted as a potential late round pick in the National Draft, Sheather was overlooked on draft night before receiving a call from Sydney’s List Manager Kinnear Beatson the following morning.
“The morning after the draft I got a call from Kinnear Beatson and he told me that they were going to pick me up last night, but some things unfolded, and they decided to rookie list me instead,” Sheather said.
“He told me that they were going to pick me up last night, but some things unfolded, and they decided to rookie list me instead.
“For me I didn’t care when my name was called, I’m just thrilled to get the opportunity and really happy to be on board.”
A product of Pennant Hills and the QBE Sydney Swans Academy, Sheather admitted he was relieved to receive the call after all the sacrifice he and his family had made living on the Central Coast.
“Mum and Dad have both been instrumental, it’s an hour and a half drive from home to training and we were doing that every two days,” Sheather said.
“I couldn’t thank my family or Chris Smith and the Sydney Swans Academy enough for what they did for me.”
Thoroughly enjoying his first season as a Swan, the Killarney Vale junior said he felt he was developing as a player, but admitted he still has plenty to learn.
Fortunately for him, there’s been plenty of help on hand as he adjusts to the pace and dynamics of AFL football.
“Isaac (Heeney) and Dane (Rampe) have both been great to me so far, they’ve just helped me adjust to being a full-time athlete, training hard, eating right, sleeping well and adjusting to the professionalism of the AFL.”
Twelve of the current senior listed players at Sydney were originally rookie listed when they started their AFL Career.