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    Dane Swan, right, will play for Ararat Eagles on April 27.

Dane Swan to soar with Ararat Eagles

By Colin MacGillivray

All eyes will be on Alexandra Oval in round two, as the Ararat Eagles welcome Collingwood legend and 2011 Brownlow medallist Dane Swan to their ranks for a one-off game on April 27.

Swan retired from the AFL following the 2016 season, but still makes appearances for country football teams, often drawing large crowds.

Eagles coach Tom Taurau said the club was abuzz with the news Swan would pull on its jumper for the Anzac round.

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“The players all loved it when they found out. The majority of them are Collingwood supporters – most of Ararat are Collingwood supporters,” he said.

“Everyone loves Swanny anyway. Who doesn’t want to watch him running around?”

Taurau said he discussed booking Swan for a sportsman’s evening with his manager Ricky Nixon, but that Swan expressed interest in playing as well.

“We mainly wanted a sportsman’s night and just to have a function with him, but we got talking and he decided to play as well,” Taurau said.

“This has been in the works since September. I wanted to do something earlier, but it was hard because the draw comes out so late.

“Great Western and Ararat is probably the biggest crowd you get for the whole year, so I wanted to capitalise on that.”

Tauarau said the large crowd and ongoing rivalry between Ararat Eagles and Great Western would result in on-field fireworks.

“I spoke to Ricky Nixon and he said ‘I hear there’s a lot of commotion between you and Great Western’. I said ‘yeah, it’s going to be fiery’,” Taurau said.

“He said Dane likes fiery games, too, so it should be great.

“I watched him playing country football two years ago and he had 53 kicks and three goals by three-quarter time.

“We’ve a decent midfield, so maybe we’ll throw him forward and feed him all day.”

Taurau said tickets for Swan’s sportsman’s evening following the match were still available. The function will start at 7pm on April 27, with doors opening at 6.30pm.

Early bird tickets are $50 or $60 at the door, with a table of 10 costing $450.

People can call 0447 477 567 for more information.

The entire April 17, 2024 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!