Derickx eager to earn ruck spot
For most of the Swans playing in the pre-season challenge match in Canberra on Thursday, the aim will be to get reacquainted with team structures and build fitness.
For Tom Derickx it’s about much more than that.
After three seasons at Richmond, in which he played just two senior games, the 26-year-old was delisted. The trade period had come and gone and the 201-centimetre ruckman’s anxiety about his future was growing.
But, with Shane Mumford having departed for Greater Western Sydney and the Swans looking for an unheralded ruckman burning with desire, Derickx was given a dream opportunity.
”I’m still pinching myself; just running out there with [Jarrad] McVeigh, [Ryan] O’Keefe … It’s crazy. And there’s Buddy [Lance Franklin],” Derickx said.
”They’ve all helped me settle in and feel welcome. As long as you buy into the Bloods culture, they’ll love you for it.”
It will be no love-in when the ball is bounced at StarTrack Oval, as Derickx – one of 10 new Swans players named in John Longmire’s squad – looks to capitalise on an uninterrupted pre-season.
He will be competing with teammates Sam Naismith and Toby Nankervis, who are also recent arrivals to the club, to back up Mike Pyke in the round-one match against the Giants.
”It’s only [the NAB Challenge] but it’s definitely a big game for me,” Derickx said before flying to Canberra. ”I’m confident in my fitness and confident in my ability.
”It’s exciting going into the NAB [Challenge] fit and after a full pre-season, and especially at a new club where I have a lot to prove.”
Derickx had been hoping to be traded from Richmond, but the free agent period left him in limbo.
”During the trade period my manager was talking to Sydney a bit,” he said. ”But with the new free agent period that finishes after the trade period, they were in no rush to trade for me. So I just had to wait to become a free agent so I could come to the Swans for free.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.