Sydney will be without captain Callum Mills until the start of next AFL season, at best, after the Swans’ Mad Monday went very bad.
Mills damaged the rotator cuff in his shoulder when he wrestled with a teammate.
According to media reports that player is Jacob Konstanty, drafted at pick 20 last year.
Konstanty is yet to make his AFL debut and is a small forward who prides himself on defensive pressure and tackling.
While the Swans are hopeful the damage is not severe, Mills has undergone surgery and will be out of action for several months.
At worst, he might not play again until midway through next season.
Callum Mills (L) with Will Hayward. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
The Swans are fuming about the injury, which only came to light through the media late on Tuesday.
“Losing players to injury in the off-season is always disappointing,” Swans football boss Charlie Gardiner said in a statement.
“Callum is our captain and an important member of the squad. We are extremely disappointed this injury has occurred.
“Callum is equally disappointed, as you can imagine, but he is recovering well and will get to work on his rehabilitation immediately.”
Mills missed most of the 2018 season after breaking his foot in a bizarre accident.
In May of that year, the Swans announced Mills was throwing an American football with teammates on the way back from a cafe when he tripped and fell.
The 26-year-old, one of Sydney’s most important players, has featured in 155 games since his 2016 debut, originally at half-back before moving into the midfield.
Last year’s grand finalists, Sydney finished eighth this season and were knocked out by Carlton in the elimination final.
Frrampton to replace McStay
Billy Frampton’s decision to leave Adelaide and kick-start his floundering AFL career at Collingwood has him on the verge of a premiership.
As much as Dan McStay is a Magpies hard-luck story for Saturday’s grand final against the Brisbane Lions, his knee injury has proved to be Frampton’s great opportunity.
Coach Craig McRae confirmed on Wednesday that Frampton would replace McStay in the Magpies lineup at the MCG.
Frampton has not played since round 24, being named as an emergency for Collingwood’s two finals.
The tall utility has enjoyed a breakout debut season with the Magpies, playing 15 senior games.
In five seasons at Port Adelaide and then Adelaide, Frampton had not managed more than 10 games in a campaign before the Crows traded him to Collingwood last year for a third-round draft pick.
McRae said the 26-year-old’s versatility earned him a place in the side after McStay injured his knee in Friday night’s preliminary final win over Greater Western Sydney.
“We’re excited for him. He’ll be good for us,” McRae told SEN on Wednesday.
“He can play forward for us and go back where need be, and play on the likes of (Joe) Daniher and others, and he can play (as) second ruck.”
Midfielder Taylor Adams will stay out of the side after reporting hamstring tightness at Tuesday’s training, while the Magpies must decide whether Jack Ginnivan or John Noble will be their sub.
Collingwood defender Brayden Maynard has taken careful note of the hard and fast Carlton start that put Brisbane on the back foot in their preliminary final.
Brisbane were left reeling when Carlton kicked the first five goals last Saturday at the Gabba, but the Blues could not keep them on the ropes.
The Lions were only three points down at the main break and controlled the second half to make their first grand final since 2004.
“(Carlton) got a jump on them early. They kept the game in a pretty fast manner,” Maynard said.
“You have to go at Brisbane. They like a bit of a slow game, kick-mark, so we have to be ‘on’ from the minute we get out there.
“Carlton played really well in the first half, but weren ‘t able to adapt in the second half.
“Brisbane are a great team, they’re in the grand final for a reason.”
Maynard is prepared to step in if the Lions try to put the heat on Magpies star Nick Daicos – regularly the focus of tagging attention.
“I will be the first (to step in) and I will be the last,” Maynard said, with a semi-serious smile.
Ratten returns to Hawks nest
Experienced coach Brett Ratten will return to Hawthorn as the AFL club’s head of coaching performance and development.
New Richmond coach Adem Yze had been keen to lure Ratten to the Tigers, while he had also been linked to Melbourne before joining the Hawks.
Ratten worked under Alastair Clarkson during Hawthorn’s premiership three-peat in between his stints as head coach at Carlton (2007-2012) and St Kilda (2019-2022).
He was North Melbourne’s caretaker coach while Clarkson took leave earlier this year and will mentor third-year coach Sam Mitchell and his staff.
“I am really confident about the direction Hawthorn has taken in developing a young list on the way back to contending for premiership success, it is one of the main reasons why I choose to return to the Hawks,” Ratten said.
Hawthorn football boss Rob McCartney hailed Ratten’s experience.
Brett Ratten. (Photo by Graham Denholm/AFL Photos via Getty Images )
“We’re thrilled to bring someone of Brett’s calibre into our program. He will play a key role in mentoring and developing our coaching staff,” McCartney said.
“With his experience, expertise, and immense football IQ, we believe Brett will make an immediate impact both on and off the field.
“On top of his obvious coaching skillset, Brett is a fantastic person with great perspective, who will no doubt have a positive influence on our culture and provide great mentorship for everyone across our program.”
Ratten’s arrival follows long-standing assistant coach Chris Newman departing the Hawks to return to former club Richmond.
The Tigers’ forwards coach Xavier Clarke has departed for North Melbourne to work as an assistant coach under Clarkson.
Kingsley named AFL coach of the year
Greater Western Sydney’s Adam Kingsley has capped an extraordinary debut season in charge of the Giants by being named the AFL’s coach of the year.
After taking on the job vacated by long-time coach Leon Cameron, Kingsley endured a tough start to his career at the Giants before almost qualifying for a grand final in his first season.
GWS fell just one point short of Collingwood in last Friday night’s preliminary final after winning sudden-death matches away against St Kilda and Port Adelaide.
Kingsley, who had a 15-year apprenticeship at Port Adelaide, St Kilda and Richmond, won the AFL Coaches Association’s (AFLCA) highest honour, beating out grand final rivals Craig McRae (Collingwood) and Chris Fagan (Brisbane Lions).
The 48-year-old was awarded 263 votes from his peers, ahead of last year’s winner McRae (197) and Fagan (164).
“It’s a tremendous honour to receive this award, particularly given it’s an award voted on by the other coaches,” Kingsley said.
“I’m grateful for the support I’ve received this season from the club and our players but also a whole new coaching group, and I’m exceptionally proud of the way we’ve come together to build a whole new program.
“While still disappointed by the result on Friday night, in time I think we’ll look back on this season with a great amount of pride, particularly in the growth of our group.”
GWS started the Kingsley era in shaky fashion, slumping to 15th on the ladder with a 3-7 record after 10 rounds.
But the Giants stormed home to secure seventh spot before winning at the MCG and the Adelaide Oval in the finals.
GWS won at 11 different venues throughout the season – a VFL/AFL record.
“We all saw last Friday night the improvement the Giants have made in such a short amount of time and Adam deserves a ton of credit for the way he has applied himself and organised his team to again be one of the most dangerous up and coming sides in the AFL competition,” AFLCA boss Alistair Nicholson said.