Paddy McCartin to return to AFL after Sydney Swans throw lifeline at former St Kilda Saint

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The Sydney Swans insist former No.1 draft pick Paddy McCartin still has plenty to give after handing the former Saint an AFL lifeline.

McCartin has missed the past two seasons due to repeated head injuries and concussions, but impressed the Swans on the track before Christmas. His good form was rewarded on Monday when he was signed under the rules of the pre-season supplemental selection period.

The Swans rewarded Paddy McCartin’s hard work with a contract. Credit:Getty Images

He had signed with VFL affiliate team Swans last year, after being dropped by Saints, the club that picked him as their first-choice in the 2014 National Draft. He made headlines for the wrong reasons last season when he was suspended for five matches by the VFL tribunal, after pleading guilty to intentionally hitting Geelong’s Aaron Black during a reserve game at Sydney’s Tramway Oval.

The power forward linked up with the Swans as a practice player before Christmas and now has the chance to play alongside his younger brother, Tom.

Swans head of football Charlie Gardiner said McCartin had shown he was still capable of playing at elite level.

“Paddy has worked extremely hard over the past two years to get fit and healthy and to be able to continue his AFL career,” Gardiner said.

“To his credit, he overcame several challenges and ultimately his strong VFL form last season and commitment to training through pre-season earned him another opportunity in the AFL.

“At just 25, Paddy still has a lot of football to play, and his re-entry into the senior list will give the club the flexibility of another great option who can play at either end of the pitch.

“We can’t wait to see what Paddy can offer this season. We know he and Tom are excited about the opportunity to continue training and playing together.

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