Hunter product Isaac Heeney is once again one of the AFL’s most sought after players.
Less than two weeks after gracing the game’s biggest stage at the MCG on grand final day, and two years after being talked about as the league’s top draft pick, the Sydney Swans are making the midfielder a priority signing.
The club have opened talks with the 20-year-old former Cardiff Hawks star, whose contract expires at the end of next season.
"We've had preliminary discussions,” Swans head of football Tom Harley said.
“He's absolutely a priority and there will be an offer there for Isaac.
"We've got to work through the trade period at the moment, with what we had with Tom Mitchell [switch to Hawthorn for draft pick 14].
“The unknown salary cap has always been a bit of a bug bear of clubs, but I've told his [Heeney’s] management, as we have all year, that he's our absolute priority going forward into next year and we'd love to think we could do something pretty quickly."
The former All Saints College high school student was drafted in 2014 as an academy selection and was one of the Swans' best players throughout this year’s finals series.
Sydney lost the October 1 decider by 22 points to the Western Bulldogs, who broke a 62-year premiership drought.
Back on the AFL draft and both Hunter players – Nelson Bay’s Lisa Steane and Maitland’s Jess Cassidy – on the list for the inaugural national women’s competition next year missed selection on Wednesday.
It was better news for Gosford Tiger’s Rachael Elcoate, Angela Jones, Pheonix Drewell and Kristy Mackay, as well as Nelson Bay’s Emma Chester, who helped NSW clinch the inaugural Australian women’s masters competition on the Gold Coast recently.
Meanwhile, in the Black Diamond AFL two clubs have announced coaches for next season.
Cardiff welcome former Geelong-based Nathan Harkness to the Hawks, taking over after four years service from Adam Dugan which was premiership-winning coach’s second stint at the club.
Warners Bay have reappointed Marty Reiman for another 12 months after narrowly missing the finals in his debut season.
And in first division Tom Croft replaces Michael Sleeth as Lake Macquarie coach.