In the latter stages of his eighth AFL season and now with his third club, Mitch Morton finally has reason to hope he might finally get a chance to play finals.
Not that the Sydney goalsneak would ever say as much ahead of his first match in the red and the white, Sunday’s Etihad Stadium clash with the Western Bulldogs.
After tallying 12 games with West Coast, and 59 with Richmond, Morton was given a chance to revive his sputtering career with the Swans during last year’s trade week.
Having kicked 75 goals for the Swans’ seconds in the NEAFL, Morton has earned his maiden call-up from Sydney coach John Longmire.
It’s a timely promotion, given Sydney have only clashes with Hawthorn and Geelong before the finals.
Morton has his chance to shine ahead of September, and the 25-year-old knows it.
“I’ve shown to the playing group that I’m able to do it in the reserves, so now it’s important to show that I can do it in the seniors,” he said.
“The good thing about having a reserves team is that I’ve been able to play the role in the reserves that I would play in the seniors, so it’s just about going out and doing the same job in the seniors.
“I’m sure the tempo is going to be a bit quicker than what I’ve been playing this year, but I’ve played enough AFL to know that that’s what comes with it, so I just have to step up.”
But after his career was seemingly headed for the scrapheap, Morton couldn’t hide his excitement.
“I think sitting here now, it’s probably the proudest moment of my career to be able to break into a top of the table team,” Morton told the club website.
The Swans simply must bank a win against the Bulldogs if they wish to finish in the top two, and with their opponents coming off eight straight losses that should happen with relative ease.
But Bulldogs veteran Daniel Giansiracusa was upbeat his side could cause an upset.
“We knew it was going to take time under a new coach and with so many younger players coming into the side, but that doesn’t mean it can’t turn around quickly,” he told the club website.
“I actually think we’ve got the ability to surprise people. It could start as soon as this week.”