Four young guns have returned home to join Sydney University alongside delisted Swans player Lloyd Perris.
Jackson Potter (Central Districts), Kane Murphy (Norwood), Sam Tagliabue (Essendon VFL), and Lachlan Kilpatrick (Northern Blues) have inked deals with the Students for the 2016 NEAFL season.
Potter, 22, has played the last two seasons in the SANFL while Murphy, 23, played 55 games for Norwood since joining the Redlegs in 2012.
Riverina product Tagliabue, 24, has been playing for Essendon’s VFL side the past two years while Kilpatrick, 22, spent last season at the Northern Blues.
All five recruits have previously played for the Swans NEAFL side as top-ups, and four (Potter, Murphy, Kilpatrick and Perris) are graduates of the Sydney Swans Academy.
SUANFC General Manager, Tristan Liles, said it is a big boost for the club that local talent has chosen to return or stay in Sydney.
“Since we’ve been developing our club into an elite second-tier football program, we’ve held off for a year or two trying to attract these kids who are trying to make it in other states, simply because we didn’t have the right environment for them to foster,” he said.
“But now we’ve shown our training program, our ethics and our game sense has really developed, we’re in a confident position that we can start to really provide these players with a professional environment that is going to hopefully allow them to jump to the next level again if they want to.
“For us, it’s as simple as providing an elite second-tier football environment in their home town of Sydney, and bringing them home so they can essentially represent their state in the NEAFL.”
Sydney University made its maiden finals appearance last year and fell one game short of a Grand Final berth when they were beaten by eventual premier NT Thunder in the Preliminary Final.
The Students will kick off their 2016 campaign against the GIANTS at Henson Park on April 3.