Campbell and Gulden named for season opener
The Sydney Swans will blood three new draftees for their 2021 season opener against the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba on Saturday night.
Teenagers Logan McDonald, Braeden Campbell and Errol Gulden have all been selected for their first AFL games.
The last time the Swans had three first-year players make their debut was 1990, when Paul Kelly, Brad Tunbridge and Shane Fell ran out for the first time in Sydney’s Round 1 clash with Carlton.
Sydney also had three opening round debutants in 2016 , Callum Mills, Tom Papley and George Hewett, however only Mills and Papley were entering their first season with the club.
Selected at pick four in the 2020 AFL Draft from Perth, Western Australia, 18-year old key forward Logan McDonald has impressed in his first pre-season and looks an exciting prospect in the Swans forward line.
McDonald said he was incredibly shocked but excited to be told he would make his debut in Round 1.
“It’s a bit surreal and also a bit of shock I think. I’m just over the moon. It definitely hasn’t sunk in yet,” McDonald said.
“To have John Longmire say that I’m making my debut this weekend, especially with two of my good mates is an awesome feeling and I can’t wait for Saturday.”
QBE Sydney Swans Academy duo Errol Gulden and Braeden Campbell will also fulfil their childhood dreams and play their first senior games together.
19-year old Campbell was pick five in the 2020 AFL Draft and has impressed in the pre-season with his speed and kicking accuracy whilst Gulden has offered plenty of energy in the forward line.
The pair have grown up playing together in the QBE Sydney Swans Academy since they played Under 11s and will now add to their football journey and make their AFL debut together.
“We’ve basically done everything with each other so hopefully if I kick to him this weekend he’ll know what to do with it,” Campbell said.
“It’s just something I can’t describe I’m over the moon about it, and to be doing it with Errol and Logan it just makes it even better,” Campbell said.
Meanwhile 18-year old Gulden said the news was still ‘sinking in’ and praised the pathway of the QBE Sydney Swans Academy in getting him to this moment in his career.
“It’s still pretty raw I guess. I’m just overwhelmed with joy and really happy I get to do it with two of my closest mates.” Gulden said.
“The QBE Sydney Swans Academy have taught me a lot of things to do with professionalism that I think helped me get to this stage in my career.”
Sydney’s opening round fixture kicks off at 7.45pm AEDT on Saturday evening and the final team will be named on Friday evening.