Cameron on the cusp of debut

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Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
Sydney Swans ruckman Darcy Cameron is in line for his AFL debut this weekend.
Camera IconSydney Swans ruckman Darcy Cameron is in line for his AFL debut this weekend. Credit: Getty Images

A quadriceps injury to key forward Sam Reid has paved the way for North Albany product and emerging Sydney Swans ruckman Darcy Cameron to make his AFL debut on Saturday against Western Bulldogs.

Cameron, recruited by the Swans with pick 48 in the 2016 national draft, had his first season at AFL level ruined by a shoulder injury but the towering 22-year-old is in the frame to be included in the Swans side announced this afternoon.

The 204cm ruckman played in both of the Swans’ JLT pre-season matches and was impressive in the Swans reserves in the opening round of NEAFL, where he amassed 32 hitouts, 10 disposals, six tackles and three inside 50s.

Reid is likely to miss eight weeks with a bad quad strain, a season-ending knee injury to first-choice ruckman Sam Naismith and the retirement of fellow big man Kurt Tippett in January has thrust Cameron towards senior promotion.

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The Claremont product impressed in a two-pronged ruck attack during the Swans’ pre-season and coach John Longmire gave a strong indication on Tuesday that Cameron was in line for selection.

“He is an option — absolutely he’s an option,” Longmire said.

“He’s been playing in the ruck and doing quite well, marking the ball around the ground.

“We could go with that model again (two rucks) and may turn to that at some point, whether it is this week or not, we haven’t made that decision just yet.

“We know he’s a capable forward, so that is certainly an option for us.”

Longmire was open to the option of current number one ruckman Callum Sinclair playing more forward to allow Cameron to come into the side and play big ruck minutes.

Speaking with the Albany Advertiser last week, Cameron was determined to earn an AFL debut. “You wouldn’t wish an ACL injury (Naismith) on your worst enemy but it opens up an opportunity,” he said.

“Seeing that opportunity has made me push even harder.

I didn’t miss a session in pre-season and the shoulder is fine. I started off on the right note in pre-season and the next month is so important for me.

“Whether it takes two weeks or six weeks, I’ve just got to keep knocking down the door.”

The Swans side the clash with the Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium will be announced late this afternoon.

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