Richmond has cheekily labelled Sydney ‘Bidney’ after the Swans shook up the 2022 AFL draft with several bids on prospects to disrupt the plans of rival clubs.
Sydney on night one bid on GWS Academy product Harry Rowston with Pick 16, forcing the Giants to match with their first rounder instead of using several second and third-round picks.
The Swans followed it up with the next selection by bidding for Adelaide father-son father-son Max Michalanney, who the Crows hoped would slide to the second round, which compelled the South Australian side into Tuesday night trading.
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Sydney then didn’t even use Pick 18, dealing it to Hawthorn for Pick 27 and two future picks.
On Tuesday night, the Swans doubled down on their left-field tactics by taking Hawthorn Next Generation Academy prospect Cooper Vickery with the 27th selection traded to them from the Hawks.
Vickery was taken much sooner than expected, but under new rules, Hawthorn couldn’t match a bid on him given he was picked before No. 40.
Sydney’s polarising moves became a key talking point out of the draft, with the Tigers, regular bidders themselves, acknowledging the scheming.
“Now we’ve handed the mantle to ‘Bidney’, so it’s good they’ve got that job now,” Richmond recruiter Matthew Clarke said, per the Herald Sun.
Foxfooty.com.au revealed the Swans called the Giants on night one before making a bid on Rowston to offer a trade that would’ve seen the clubs swap picks 16 and 17 and bolster Sydney’s future draft hand – a deal GWS turned down to instead pay full price for the youngster.
Despite the commentary around his club’s tactics, Swans list boss Kinnear Beatson insisted it was simply drafting players where it had them on the board.
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“We just simply go off our talent order. We’ll call the players in order as we get to them. We rated both Harry and Max Michalanney at that level,” he told Fox Footy.
“We weren’t sure whether they’d be matched by the club, we hadn’t spoken to them until prior to that time because otherwise you’re just giving away your intel, so why would you?
“When they matched, because GWS lost a pick, it brought our second pick in by one, so we though there’s an opportunity here to trade, get some trade collateral for next year … and just move back a little bit, so we were happy to look at that with the Hawks.”
Sydney recruiter Simon Dalrymple meanwhile also defended the club’s trade approach to the Giants and overall strategy, with Rowston ranked No. 12 on its board.
“He was on our talent list. We only bid on him because he was on our talent list, and we rated him there and were disappointed we didn’t get him in the end,” Dalrymple said.
“Really, the club (GWS) is pretty irrelevant. It’s more the player and where we rate him. I thought it was (fair to ask for a trade). Options open, their call whether they take part in that transaction.
“So that’s their decision and it didn’t go any further.”