Swans' family push
Kieren Jack. Photo: Anthony Johnson
RUGBY league great Garry Jack might have another reason to don the red and the white to the SCG next year after Tuesday's rookie draft.
Sydney is set to recruit controversial forward Kurt Tippett in the pre-season draft but it's the rookie draft minutes later which could further ensconce the Jack name at the Swans.
That's when teenager Brandon Jack will find out whether he will follow in the footsteps of his brother Kieren by making it on the club's rookie list.
Brandon has trained with the Swans during the pre-season in the hope of being thrown the same opportunity which Kieren was handed seven years ago.
The 18-year-old - a product of the Swans' academy - played for the Sydney reserves this year.
Brandon, 182 centimetres, is slightly taller than his brother and has also been blessed with the speed that has helped his brother become such a vital part of Sydney's midfield.
''It's unfair to compare them. Whilst they're brothers they're different players,'' said Swans coach John Longmire. ''Brandon's still finding his feet because he's only been playing a short period of time. What he has got is genuine speed.''
The Swans are yet to finalise their selections in the rookie draft, which in previous years has netted them future premiership players such as Nick Smith, Heath Grundy and Mike Pyke, but they like what they have seen from Brandon. ''He's shown some signs but it's very hard to pick 18, 19-year-old kids,'' Longmire said.
''Even in the elite system with our recruiters in the national carnival they find it very difficult to pick - and they watch them all the time. It is a challenge to see how they turn out. We've seen a little bit and think he's OK but he's still got a lot of development to go.''
The same also applies for youngster Xavier Richards, the brother of another grand final hero Ted Richards. Like his All-Australian sibling, Xavier, at 195 centimetres, is quick for a player his size but was overlooked in this year's draft and is relying on Tuesday's lottery.
''Teddy took a while before he was an established AFL player - he took a number of years - it doesn't mean Xavier will take the same amount of time if he gets the same opportunity,'' Longmire said.
''But they're both key-position players and they can both run. We haven't seen enough of him to make the call on what player he may or may not develop into.''
One player Longmire knows who can add value to his team next year is Tippett. With Greater Western Sydney pulling out of the race for Tippett, it seems a mere formality he will officially become a Swan in three days. ''If he comes to our footy club, he's a 202-centimetre key power forward who can also play in the ruck. He's a goalkicker and a big contested mark player and he's only 25 years of age,'' Longmire said.