As an athletic tall marking forward, there is little doubt Sam Reid will be courted by a number of AFL clubs come the end of the season if he decides to exercise his right as a restricted free agent.
Reid was originally taken by the Swans with pick 38 in the 2009 National Draft. After making his debut in Round 22 of 2010, he made 22 AFL appearances the following season averaging 10.4 disposals and 4.6 marks per game, while kicking 22 goals.
It was an impressive first full season of senior football, and Reid followed it up with a very similar year in terms of statistics in 2012. He did however add a premiership to his resume, and such was his standing within the Swans, he was signed to a five-year deal, which expires at the end of the current season.
Although at the end of 2012 Reid looked capable of becoming one of the AFL’s premier tall forwards, injury and the addition of Kurt Tippett, and then Lance Franklin has appeared to have severely stunted his development up until this season.
Injury free, and with Franklin often playing further up the ground and Tippett himself now suffering from injury and loss of form, Reid seems to have picked up where he left off at the end of 2012.
He is recording career highs in disposals (13.9), and marks (6.3) per game, while if he keeps his current average of 1.5 goals per game going until the end of the year will also post the most goals he has kicked in a season.
Much like his brother Ben at Collingwood, the younger Reid has also been used in defence by Coach John Longmire at times, particularly towards the end of the quarter in tight games, where his intercept marking has become invaluable.
Reid has also shown this season he is more than capable of going into the ruck if needed, and although he is often out muscled in the contest, competes well enough to give Naismith or Tippett a rest when required.
Tall forwards who can swing back while also helping out in the ruck are rare commodities, and as such Reid will be in demand by any number of clubs.
Brother Ben has already admitted getting into his ear about joining him at Collingwood, and there is no doubt the Magpies need a tall forward such as Reid to help out Darcy Moore.
Richmond have also expressed interest in Reid, and despite their climb up the ladder this season, they are still crying out for a decent second tall forward to take pressure off Jack Reiwoldt.
Why he stays
Reid has admitted he is very happy with his life in Sydney and is engaged to a local girl. He has been with Sydney since he started his AFL career, and the club has a culture the envy of most others in the competition.
With the recent increase in club’s Total Player Payments the Swans are sure to offer him very adequate compensation to stay, although admittedly it will not be as much as he could earn on the open market.
Why he goes
While Reid has admitted he is comfortable in Sydney, he is a Melbourne boy and the lure of home could be strong if he knows the interest from Victorian clubs is there. That family connection could see Collingwood in a prime position to grab his signature, while the Tigers’ rapid improvement this year could also be attractive.
There is no doubt that should he decide to leave the Swans it will be on a fair bit more than what he would earn in Sydney, and that along with the chance of returning home and being close to family could be enough to see him exercise his right as a restricted free agent and head back to Victoria.