by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
Young West Coast midfielder Tom Swift has stunned the club by walking away from the AFL to study medicine. Swift informed the club of his decision in early October shortly before the club's awards ceremonies. Swift, 22, was a second round draft selection in 2008 and played 34 games. He was out of contract at the end of the season and it is believed the club was going to offer him a one-year contract extension.
Swift, who will attend the University of Western Australia next year, said the opportunities outside of football outweighed the benefits of a football career. He said "A change in lifestyle is something I've always desired and following my academic pursuits and making the most out of them. I feel like I've come to a bit of a crossroad ... if I let too much time elapse I won't have those opportunities any more." Of the decision he added, "You never make a decision being 100 per cent sure. There's still a voice in the back of my head saying I've made the wrong decision, but it's something I've got to live with now."
Coach John Worsfold said the news came out of the blue but described Swift's ambition as noble. He also said it was a "... mark of his character" to make such a tough decision and wished Swift all the best.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Just days before the Grand Final, Brisbane co-captain Josh Drummond announced his retirement after just 94 games. Drummond, who has struggled with hip injuries in recent times, said he could not put his body through another year. He said it was a tough decision, as he would have loved to go on. He further said he did not want to be a "... burden on the club and ... had to start thinking about life after football." He believes the club is on the verge of some exciting times and is interested in remaining in the football industry. To this end, he will continue postgraduate studies in sports science and coaching.
Drummond, 29, was drafted in 2003 as a mature-age rookie and quickly gained a reputation for his pinpoint kicking and ability to analyze the play. Brisbane Coach Michael Voss said Drummond had made a huge impact at the club in his nine seasons. “Drummo showed total commitment ... during his entire career and his value on the park was unquestionable ... His progression from the rookie list to the senior list, then to be a part of our leadership group, it’s a great success story for football in Queensland and something a lot of young players in this state should take inspiration from." Voss also praised Drummond's committment to the rebuilding of the club and its culture and said his presence would be missed. Voss believes Drummond's "footy brain" would hold him in good stead should he decide to pursue a coaching career. Voss concluded, "It’s unfortunate that injuries have got the better of him, but now he’ll move on ... and we wish him nothing but the best. " Drummond, had he decided to play on, was eligible to be a restricted free agent.
The Brisbane Lions will honor Drummond with a lap of honor prior to the first home game of the 2013 AFL season.
Source: Kate Stevens, Club Media Release
The Dockers delisted senior player Jay van Berlo and rookies Gavin Roberts and Jordan Wilson-King at the end of the season.
Source: Jonathon Monasso, Club Media Release
Sydney has delisted senior players Jarred Moore, ruckman Mark Seaby and rookies Eugene Kruger, Jack Lynch and Dylan McNeil. Moore debuted in 2005 and played 68 games. Seaby played 102 games with West Coast 2004-2009 and was a member of the Eagles' 2006 Premiership. With Dean Cox in excellent form and the continued emergence of Nic Naitanui, Seaby was traded to Sydney. However he was unable to get regular senior games due to injury - a broken ankle in Round 6, 2010 ended his season - and the good form of former Cat Shane Mumford and Canadian Mike Pyke. He played just 18 games with Sydney, just five of those in 2012.
Kruger was born in South Africa, but moved to Australia in 2000 and played rugby before converting to Aussie Rules. He has been on the rookie list for two seasons. Neither he nor the other rookies ever played any senior games.
Source: Herald Sun, AFL Record Season Guide
Crow defender Brad Symes was told he would not be offered a new contract. List manager David Noble acknowledged Symes' contribution to club, saying he was a valuable club member and quality person. Symes was originally drafted by Port and debuted in 2004 but was traded to Adelaide at the end of 2007. He played just two games in 2012 for a total of 60 for Adelaide after playing 27 with Port.
Symes accepted the decision by saying he understood the direction the club was taking and was looking forward to the next phase of his life. He also said he loved his time with the club. Symes, 27, was co-winner of the 2012 Magarey Medal (SANFL Brownlow equivalent), best team man in 2009 and a Rising Star nominee in 2008.
Source: James O'Connell, Club Media Release
Article last changed on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 - 6:18 PM EDT