He’s only three games into his AFL career, but Sydney forward Isaac Heeney is already getting tuition from Buddy Franklin and been dubbed “Halo” and “Golden Child” by his teammates.
Swans Academy product Heeney, 18, has got the latest Rising Star nomination after kicking four goals in Sydney’s win over Greater Western Sydney last Saturday.
He would like to follow in the footsteps of two other Swans, Adam Goodes and Dan Hannebery, who went on to win the Rising Star season award in 1999 and 2010 respectively.
Heeney, who announced himself at senior level with 17 touches in each of his first two games, is still coming to terms with playing alongside Franklin and Kurt Tippett in the Swans forward line.,
“I don’t even known if it’s sunk in yet, just kicking goals with `Buddy’ and `Tippo’ is incredible,” Heeney said.
“Before, I was with Buddy watching some vision, just running down some tips.
“He’s really good with that, he’s really helpful, he’s a freak athlete.
“You just soak in every moment with them because they are the best in the competition and if you can learn some skills from them, you may step into their shoes.
Growing up, Heeney dabbled in several sports including most of the football codes plus cricket, which he played for Newcastle at junior level.
“I was the only one at my school, throughout my whole schooling, that played AFL and if it wasn’t for the Academy, I would be playing rugby league for sure, 100 per cent,” Heeney said.
He can thank rugby league for one skill, a big fend, which he used to great effect in setting up a goal for Franklin against the Giants.
“If I can use that as a bit of a weapon, I’d be pretty stoked with that,” Heeney said.
Goals apart, he has already endeared himself to Sydney supporters with his toughness, getting back to his feet after slamming hard into a goalpost in the follow through from kicking a goal against GWS.
“I think it looked a bit worse than what it actually was, I hit it pretty hard, but the ribs are fine.
Heeney is looking forward to the challenge of playing his first game in Perth this weekend,when the Swans take on fellow undefeated side Fremantle.
“Playing against good sides is what you want to do and just being able to play Fremantle, who are coming off an absolute ripper last week it will be great.”