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‘No hard feelings’: Former Swan Newman ready to knock off Sydney

In Callum Mills, Jake Lloyd, Jarrad McVeigh, Harry Cunningham and Nick Smith, the Swans had an abundance of small to medium-sized defenders who were being preferred. And they were interested in luring Tom Langdon from Collingwood.

North Melbourne showed interest but committed to receiving a draft pick for Ryan Clarke instead of a player.

Newman, according to one version of events, came back to favour with the Swans late but he was ready to look elsewhere. And in the Blues he saw a club that needed players of his type and where he would play more senior football.

“Once I was drafted there it was never a goal to come back to Melbourne. I loved living there, loved being at the club,” Newman said. “I wasn’t overly surprised, it was mutual [the departure].

“It was in my interests to look for more opportunities. I spoke to my manager, heard Carlton were interested and it went from there.

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“I wasn’t overly surprised or annoyed, it’s part and parcel of the industry to move clubs. I didn’t plan for it, it happened pretty late.”

Newman looks back fondly at his time with the Swans, who used pick 35 in the rookie draft at the end of 2014 to pick up the former VFL player.

He remains in regular contact with his former teammates though communications this week, he said, would cease. He’d love to line up on youngster Will Hayward, who also made his debut in 2017, but for amusement’s sake would not mind hearing what motormouth Tom Papley has to say out on the field.

“I’m pretty excited, I spent four years there, got some great mates up there who I still speak to,” Newman said. “No hard feelings there at all. Just looking forward to playing them and knocking them off.”

Newman impressed in his debut season two years ago with his ability to find the ball and use it constructively especially with penetrating kicks.

Those traits have already been on show with his new club, particularly in round one when he was among the Blues’ best in their loss to Richmond.

Like the Swans, the Blues are also winless from the first two rounds but while expectations are low for them this year, Sydney fans have become accustomed to seeing their team closer to the top of the ladder than the bottom.

Newman said he had no extra motivation from playing against his former team.

“We’re 0-2, it doesn’t matter who we were going to play this week, we’re desperate to play well and get a win no matter who we play,” Newman said.

Andrew Wu writes on cricket and AFL for The Sydney Morning Herald

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