Port Adelaide is officially out of the race to secure Brodie Grundy, leaving Sydney as the ruck’s near-certain home for the next four years.
The Power put together a football-focussed presentation to Grundy and were happy to pick up Melbourne’s contract, which expires at the end of 2027.
Grundy was keen to explore the club’s views on work-life balance and, as first reported by Sam Landsberger of the Herald Sun, more attracted to the lifestyle in Sydney and the opportunities it could present outside of football.
Port Adelaide’s DNA is fundamentally different to Sydney’s and believes its core responsibility is football and the expectations from its passionate fanbase demand this.
This is not to say the Swans priority is not football, only that selling points also extend beyond the game.
There are no hard feelings between Port and Grundy, but it became clear to both parties after the meeting that club and player had different priorities.
It’s not unusual for players to seek Sydney as a home for non-football reasons as Grundy will likely do, with Lance Franklin the most high-profile recruit in recent years who was openly attracted to a home outside the traditional footy hubs of Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.
Having officially moved on from Grundy, Port is keen on out of contract Western Bulldogs ruck Jordon Sweet, who they have tabled a three-year deal to.
As Sam Edmund reported, Sweet is yet to request a trade amid interest from Port and, earlier in the season, West Coast.
It’s understood Port is confident Sweet will end up at the Power in the trade period.
“We’ve had a deal on the table for Jordon for the majority of the year,” Dogs list boss Sam Power told AFL.com.au recently.
“He’s had a really good and consistent year at VFL level. He’s really improved his game, which is a credit to him and the work he’s put in. It’s just unfortunate he’s sitting behind a very good ruckman and the All-Australian ruckman.
“Tim English played every game this year, which made it hard for Jordon. But we really want to keep Jordon. We see him as having a bright future, so hopefully we’re able to get something done.
“Clearly, there’s generally been a bit of movement from a ruck perspective across the last few years. That seems like it may happen again this year. But from our end, our priority is to keep Jordon. We can see the bright future that he has.”
Sweet’s intentions are expected to become more clear as early as this week now Footscray is out of the VFL finals race.
Port must also satisfy Geelong’s lofty request for Esava Ratugolea and Essendon’s negotiations for Brandon Zerk-Thatcher, who both want to play at Alberton next year.
As it stands, Port’s first pick in the National Draft is No.37, which will drift into the 40s by draft night.
This selection is tied to Collingwood, while their first rounder went to North Melbourne as part of the Jason Horne-Francis deal and their initial second rounder landed at West Coast.
Melbourne won’t stand in the way of Grundy finding a new home, provided they are adequately compensated.
Last year the Demons gave up Pick 27 to secure the two-time All-Australian.
Sydney has Picks 22, 30, 41 and 49 in the second and third rounds as things stand.