Tom Papley re-signs with Sydney Swans until 2018

by admin on July 13th, 2018

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New talent: Tom Papley is tackled during Sydney’s match against Carlton at Etihad Stadium on Saturday. Photo: Scott Barbour/AFL MediaTom Papley has more red and white in his veins than most of his Sydney teammates, which he says made it an easy decision to re-sign with the Swans until the end of 2018.

Papley, who joined the Swans as the No.14 pick in this year’s draft, has signed a two-year deal which will keep him in Sydney for another couple of seasons.

Although Sydney were the only genuine club in the running to secure the future services of the 20-year-old small forward, Papley says he never considered heading anywhere else given his family ties to the Bloods.

His grandfather Max Papley featured in 59 games for South Melbourne between 1964 and 1967, while his other grandfather, Jeff Bray, also played for the club in the mid-1960s.

“As soon as I got offered it, it was a pretty easy decision to say yes,” Papley said. “It’s a great club and hopefully I can be here for a long time. How they’ve treated me is a way to give back. They gave me an opportunity and now I’ve got another contract and I’m happy to be there.”

There has been plenty of praise for Papley this year – he impressed with three goals on debut against Collingwood in a stirring 80-point win before going on to boot 15 goals in his first 11 games of senior footy.

Papley is also feeling more at home in Sydney after moving here from Bunyip in Gippsland to sharing a place in Maroubra with fellow Swans youngsters Aliir Aliir and Colin O’Riordan.

Asked what he had learnt most during his first season in the big time, Papley said: “Just going out there and playing instead of worrying about other things and just going out there and playing your footy. To play your role rather than individual stuff. In juniors you always want to be the one that kicks the most goals, has the most kicks, now it’s more about the team and doing your bit for the team.”

And in a side that possesses the goal-kicking weapon that is Lance Franklin, Papley feels he is sticking to what coach John Longmire wants reasonably well.

​Papley, however, doesn’t agree with suggestions Sydney were at times too reliant on Franklin.

“He’s a great player and he’s obviously one of the best forwards in the league and he kicks a lot of goals but there’s other players around the ground in the forward line that we kick to as well,” Papley said. “We only lost by five points to the Hawks and he still got the ball and he’s not kicking goals. For me it’s about my pressure in the forward line and getting in the contest.”

In four of the Swans’ five defeats this year the margin has been 10 points or less, and that number could have gone up by one had they not held strong against Carlton on Saturday.

Papley said it was nice to come out of a close game on top and predicted Sydney’s momentum would continue against Fremantle, Port Adelaide and St Kilda in the coming weeks.

“We always knew it was going to be a tough contest, Carlton are a much improved side,” Papley said. “They stuck it up to us yesterday and they’re a really good young side.

“Sometimes you don’t have your best days but it’s good to get the win. It gives us a bit of confidence. We have worked on it [closing out tight games] in the last couple of weeks and it has paid off, so it is good to sneak over the line in the end. You don’t want to lose too many more games heading into the back end of the year. If we can keep improving, I think we can go a long way as a team this year in the finals.” 

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