Talks on a new contract for improved Sydney utility Jordan Dawson are set to step up over the next few weeks with the South Australian’s manager saying Dawson has attracted interest from rival clubs.
Dawson, 24, has emerged as one of the Swans’ most reliable players in 2021, playing all 16 games to date, largely in defence.
However in recent weeks he has displayed his versatility, pushing up to the wing. The move has been inspired, with Dawson notching 25 disposals and two goals in Sydney’s thumping win over West Coast before going even better with 26 disposals and three goals in Sunday’s victory away to the Western Bulldogs, who had been ladder-leaders heading into the round.
That showing against the Dogs earned Dawson the maximum 10 votes in the AFL Coaches’ Association champion player of the year award.
Dawson’s kicking is among his greatest strengths. Of the 125 players who have kicked most into forward 50 across the AFL since 2019, Dawson ranks fourth for ball retention, with only Jamie Cripps, Jason Johannisen and Michael Walters ahead of him.
Taken at pick 56 in the 2015 draft, the 191-centimetre Dawson is due to fall out-of-contract at season’s end and has been linked back to a move to his home state and is young enough that he should still be well and truly in his prime when rebuilding Adelaide are aiming to again contend for a premiership.
However Dawson, who hails from the South Australian coastal town of Robe, has indicated he is keen to remain with Sydney.
His agent Michael Doughty of TLA said on Tuesday that “there has been rival interest” but added Dawson was “focusing on playing his best footy before ramping up talks with the Swans in the next few weeks”.
Having surged back into the top-four race in recent weeks, the Swans still have a host of players without deals for 2022. Announcements have not yet been forthcoming over the futures of co-captain Luke Parker, and veteran tall Sam Reid – both of whom are unrestricted free agents – as well as 2019 No.5 draft pick Dylan Stephens, another South Australian.