Gympie Devils A Grade player Nick Swan.
Gympie Devils A Grade player Nick Swan. Craig Warhurst

Swan set to be an Eagle

GYMPIE DEVILS points-scoring phenomenon Nick Swan is poised to link with the Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles. The talented young halfback is back in training and is itching to prove his worth in the Intrust Super Cup after steering the Gympie Devils to a belated A-grade premiership.

The Devils’ best back produced some dominant performances during the year to emerge as the local competition’s top points-scorer and now the 20-year-old is intent on making his mark on the state league stage. “To be honest it (the local competition) is a bit like bush footy. It’s a bit slower and is great for smaller blokes like me,” he said.

“It (competing in the Intrust Super Cup) is a big step up but I’d like to play with the Sunshine Coast...I wouldn’t care if I play at six, seven or nine.” A Gympie junior, Swan moved to Brisbane where he played with the Wynnum-Manly Colts side but he had some personal problems and returned to the Mary River, where he thrived this season.

“I came back to Gympie to sort myself out and it’s paid dividends; I’m enjoying my footy again,” he said. At just 1.78m and 80kg, Swan would seem a target for hard-running forwards but Gympie’s premiership-winning captain Darren Burns warned rivals not to underestimate the diminutive half.

“He’s a very good defender,” Burns said. “I’ve seen him pick up the occasional forward and put him on his back. He’s not afraid to put the shoulder in.”

A solid ball player who shifts the ball both ways with ease, Swan can also be a destructive runner.

“He’s got a great left-foot step. I’ve seen him score off scrums three or four times this year,” Burns said.

The new season is still five months away but Burns said Swan “is very committed; he’s been training by himself”.

For Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles CEO Justin Veivers, it was hard not to notice Swan’s efforts in 2010 and he will meet with the ambitious youngster this week.

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