Sydney Swans have capped off a memorable week after Adelaide Crows superstar Kurt Tippett expressed a desire to join the newly-crowned AFL premiers.
Tippett had been tipped to return to Queensland, where he went to school, to join either Brisbane or the Gold Coast, but on Saturday he announced he wanted to link up with the Swans, who shocked Hawthorn to win the grand final last Saturday.
Sydney will still have to find a deal that satisfies the Crows before forward Tippett officially signs his four-year contract, but the news is a huge coup for John Longmire’s side.
“I want to thank the Adelaide Football Club for the opportunity and support they’ve given me over the past six years,” Tippett said in a statement on Saturday.
“It’s an outstanding club and I’ve really enjoyed playing there. I wish Brenton Sanderson and the club all the best for the future.”
Tippett said he rejected a five-year deal from the Crows and similar offers from the Lions and the Suns, and wanted to return to the city where he was born.
“This was a combined football/lifestyle decision and the balance between the two,” he said.
“I was born in Sydney, I have a lot of friends and family there, and this offers me a chance to play football in a lifestyle which I really enjoy.
“It’s obvious the Swans have a very special culture, in addition to a very good team. I look forward to being part of it.”
Crows’ list manager David Noble issued a curt statement following the news, and said now that speculation over Tippett’s future was over it would allow the club to move forward.
“Now that we know Kurt’s preferred club we can start considering the trade options available to us and start formal negotiations when the trade period opens on Monday,” Noble said.
“We’ll be seeking to deliver a positive outcome for the Adelaide Football Club.”
Brisbane’s national talent manager Rob Kerr admitted he was keen to sign Tippett, but conceded the club were never realistically going to be able to match what the Swans could offer.
“Once Kurt signalled his intention to come home to Queensland, the club put to him an extremely appealing offer,” Kerr said.
“However, we understood it was going to be difficult to compete financially with Sydney given the additional salary cap space that is provided to them.”