As he starts life as a Swan, former Eagle Tom Hickey has taken a cheeky dig at ex-teammate Nic Naitanui.
After two seasons as Nic Nat’s back-up at West Coast, Hickey headed to his fourth AFL club in search of more game time for 2021.
The ruckman says the lure of working alongside another ex-Eagle, Sydney assistant Dean Cox, was a major attraction to the Swans, and gave Nic Nat a little clap on the way, too.
“Cox is probably the best to ever do it in the ruck and his protégé, Nic Naitanui, is not that bad of a player either,” Hickey joked.
“I am really looking forward to working with (Cox) and really figuring out a few ruckmen and getting some tips from him.”
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Hickey played 20 games in 2019 as Naitanui battled an ongoing knee injury, but managed just three appearances this season.
He’s now in line to become the first AFL player to play for four different AFL clubs in four different states (after two seasons at Gold Coast and six at St Kilda) if he makes his debut for the Swans.
Hickey is certainly showing he’s eager, joining his younger teammates back at AFL training this week.
“I’ve come back with the young boys to try and meet everyone because I didn’t want to come back in January and start from behind the eight-ball,” Hickey said.
“All the boys have been great and really friendly, and it’s a super welcoming club.
“I’ve had a been of experience coming from other teams, I’ve been around the traps a little bit but I just want to do what I can to help the team win and climb up the ladder and get back into the finals.
“It’s a really impressive young group and the older guys are really talented as well… I’m really excited to be a part of that.”
The Eagles last month traded Hickey and picks 34 and 60 to the Swans, and received picks 58, 62 and future second and third round selections.