Sydney will enter 2024 with a vastly more experienced side after snapping up Brodie Grundy and Taylor Adams in a flurry of trade activity on Wednesday afternoon.
Grundy has joined his third club in 12 months after Melbourne agreed to a trade to send the two-time All-Australian to Sydney.
The 29-year-old will head to the Swans in exchange for pick 46 in this year’s draft and Sydney’s future second-round selection.
Adams, Grundy’s former teammate and Collingwood vice-captain who missed out on the Grand Final win due to a hamstring injury, cost the Swans pick 33.
Grundy signed a mega seven-year deal at Collingwood before the 2020 season but was pushed out at the end of 2022 due to a salary cap squeeze at the Magpies.
He knocked back strong rival interest to join Melbourne, who had hoped he would form a dominant ruck partnership with captain Max Gawn, but neither had the impact as a forward which coach Simon Goodwin wanted in order to play them together.
Grundy was dropped twice after rounds 17 and 22 and did not return for the Demons’ finals campaign despite strong VFL form.
Sydney football boss Charlie Gardiner called Grundy an “outstanding person” and said he would have a major on-field impact at the Swans.
“We’re excited to be able to bring Brodie to Sydney – he is an outstanding person and an elite ruckman in the competition, and will be a fantastic addition to our club,” he said.
“We worked closely with Melbourne to facilitate the trade and we look forward to seeing Brodie in the red and white in 2024.”
Grundy will take up the No. 1 ruck mantle at the Swans after the retirement of Tom Hickey.
Sydney also has Peter Ladhams, who it recruited from Port Adelaide ahead of last season, and 209cm rugby convert Lachlan McAndrew as specialist ruck options on its list.
Gardiner said Adams, 30, would provide important support to the Swans’ developing midfield, which could be without Callum Mills for a large part of next season after he injured his shoulder in a Mad Monday incident and required surgery.
“Taylor brings a wealth of experience both on and off the field, and will be a great addition to our team,” Gardiner said.
“He is an elite midfielder and an outstanding leader, and we believe his experience will not only help us win games but provide support for our developing young midfield. We are looking forward to welcoming him to the club.”
The two inclusions came as the Swans sent wingman Dylan Stephens to North Melbourne in exchange for pick 44 and the Roos’ future end-of-round-one selection which was handed to them in an AFL assistance package.
The South Australian left-footer was taken with pick 5 in the 2019 draft but has only managed 43 games in four seasons amid strong competition for midfield spots.
The Kangaroos added more outside run with the addition of Zac Fisher from Carlton, sending over picks 21 and 25 in exchange for the left-footed speedster and pick 17.
Fisher played 107 games in seven seasons at Ikon Park but was squeezed out of the side for most of the season before reinventing himself as a halfback.
Gold Coast continued its pursuit of draft points to support its upcoming bids on a quartet of academy players as it traded Chris Burgess and pick 14 to Adelaide in exchange for picks 23 and 26.
Burgess, 27, has only played 36 games in four seasons but topped the VFL goalkicking in 2023 and could be used at either end of the ground by the Crows.
The Suns have already traded out pick 4 to the Western Bulldogs and pick 11 to Melbourne as they accumulate later selections in the draft.
The Bulldogs were happy to give up picks 10 and 17 to prise the selection off the Suns, but expect a bid to come on father-son prospect Jordan Croft in the first round of the draft after he confirmed he would nominate the Bulldogs on Wednesday.
The son of 186-gamer Matthew Croft, the 200cm teenager was one of the best performers at Monday’s draft combine, clocking a 6:05 2km time trial to finish fourth despite his huge frame.