Western Bulldogs recruit Jordon Sweet believes he will provide the aggressiveness and mobility needed to satisfy his new club.
With the Bulldogs trading out premiership big man Jordan Roughead and delisting fellow follower Tom Campbell at season’s end, the Club was in the market for another ruck to assist exciting youngster Tim English, versatile tall Tom Boyd and utility Jackson Trengove.
Impressed with Sweet’s 2018 campaign with SANFL premier North Adelaide, the Dogs swooped on the hulking 202cm 20-year-old with pick No.23 in the NAB AFL Rookie Draft.
Sweet told AFL.com.au he’s not at the Dogs to make up the numbers and is out to impress coach Luke Beveridge after missing the opportunity to leave a good first impression on the premiership mentor.
“I haven’t met ‘Bevo’ yet, but I spoke to him on the phone after I missed his first call,” a sheepish Sweet said on Thursday.
“Out of all the calls I got after the draft, his was the only one I missed.
“I know he wants me to play the way I usually play, because he wouldn’t have recruited me if I didn’t think I could play like that.
“I love the physicality aspect of the game, I love getting inside opponents’ heads, so I’ll bring a bit of aggression in the middle.
“I give myself every chance to play round one, and there’s no reason why I shouldn’t think I can’t.”
Sweet’s confidence in his ability comes from a breakout season with the Roosters. Highly rated going into his draft year of 2016, he was added to the AFL Academy alongside first-round picks Ben Ainsworth, Jy Simpkin and Will Setterfield, but he was left undrafted because he “wasn’t focused” enough on his football.
Two years spent juggling his SANFL commitments with a full-time job stacking pallets in a supermarket warehouse finally saw Sweet “screw my head on properly.”
North Adelaide coach and former Power and Docker midfielder Josh Carr can attest to his former protégé’s change in attitude.
“Over the past 12 months Jordon has really matured a lot and developed his game, so I reckon he’s ready to have a go at (AFL level),” Carr told AFL.com.au.
“He’s a really good runner, and I don’t think he knew how good his tank was and it really surprised himself, so he’s taken that with his love of throwing his weight around.
“He tackles, chases and puts on shepherds, which is what you want a ruckman to do.
“I don’t think (the setbacks) really hit home early days because he’s discovered he has the package to play at the next level and how much he loves footy.”
Landing at Whitten Oval has Sweet’s father, a mad Bulldogs supporter, just as excited as he is, but it’s his history with a former foe-turned-friend that has Sweet believing he’s ready to step up if required.
“I played against Tim English at the (2016) under-18 championships for South Australia against Western Australia, and we had a really good battle,” Sweet said
“We’re both the same age, so we should make a great partnership.”
This article originally appeared at: http://www.westernbulldogs.com.au/news/2018-12-03/sweet-aims-to-bring-the-heat