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Sydney chief executive Andrew Ireland claims no players have been squeezed off the Swans’ playing roster to accommodate the arrival of AFL superstar Lance Franklin.
The Swans broke the bank in securing Franklin to an extraordinary nine-year $10 million deal, the two-time Hawthorn premiership-winner set to form an imposing forward line alongside Kurt Tippett and youngster Sam Reid.
It had been suggested that Reid could be moved on to help fit Franklin’s deal under the salary cap, but Ireland said there would be no collateral damage to the roster.
“There is no other players on our list that we need to move out for Buddy to come in,” Ireland said as he sat alongside Franklin at Wednesday’s press conference at the SCG.
Rather, Ireland pointed to the retirement of premiership players such as Jude Bolton and Marty Mattner, Shane Mumford’s move to GWS and Jesse White’s impending departure as helping open up the space to snare Franklin.
“I don’t think in Jesse’s case they’re going to be squeezed out – Jesse made it known to John (coach John Longmire) at the exit interviews that he was thinking that he could get better opportunities elsewhere,” said Ireland.
“At the moment he’s indicated he’d like to go to Collingwood.
“Shane Mumford got a really good deal to go to GWS, we couldn’t have matched that deal.”
While there are still a few positions yet to be finalised in the Swans squad, Longmire was particularly bullish when the topic of Reid’s future was raised.
Reid, who signed a five-year deal with the Swans in 2011, had been mentioned as a possible victim of Franklin’s arrival.
“Absolutely,” Longmire said when asked if Reid was part of the club’s long-term plans.
“We’ve got massive wraps on Sam Reid, he’s a fantastic young player for this footy club.
“There’s not many 21-year old centre half-forward premiership players running around, he’s one of them.
“I can’t wait to see these blokes run around together.”