Player Watch #41 Hayden McLean

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Kennedy Parker

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Jul 9, 2015
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Hayden McLean

Player Profile

Pre-season supplementary list rules allowed the Sydney Swans to sign Hayden McLean in March 2019, and while injury ruled out the key-position player for seven of the first 10 NEAFL games of the season, he’d respond in commanding fashion. The former Sandringham Dragons skipper made his AFL debut as Sydney met Fremantle in Round 18, 2019, which saw him battle imposing ruck trio Aaron Sandilands, Sean Darcy and Rory Lobb, as well as a parochial Optus Stadium crowd. Coach John Longmire praised McLean’s debut performance and he finished the season with four AFL games beside his name. The 197-centimetre, 93-kilogram giant is chasing consistent AFL selection in 2020. Draft history: 2019 pre-season supplementary rookie selection

Hayden McLean

DOB:20 January 1999
DRAFT:2018
RECRUITED FROM: Beaumaris (Vic)/St Bede's Coll (Vic)/ Sand U18/Sand (VFL)


 
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S120

Brownlow Medallist
Jun 19, 2011
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Can only praise McLean's game. He ran out of petrol in the 2nd half but who could blame him. 20 year old, first year on a professional list, giving away enormous weight and height to not only Sandilands but Darcy as well. But he showed he wasn't intimidated at all, went hard at the body for as long as he could, nailed some rough tackles and won ball around the ground in the 1st half. He needed a spell from Aliir in the final quarter, but well played, deserves at least another week and will probably win another year on the list based off that game alone.
 
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Grand Uncle Horace

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May 24, 2017
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I think he's done enough to hold his spot, bit of a baptism of fire against three rucks. If Sandi doesn't play we win that game.
Irrespective we should have won that game by four goals.

In the first ruck contest, the Statue put a hefty knee into McLean's chest. The kid bounced back and was very good in the first quarter.
 

caesar88

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 26, 2016
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Is there something I've missed - in a number of different threads I've seen Hayden referred to as McClean not McLean.
It's McLean, but a forgivable typo to go with McClean IMO. Better than those who say Haywood, or continue to call Zac Foot 'Foote'.

Everyone will know McLean's correct spelling when he becomes the second big Swan to win two Brownlow Medals and renders Max Gawn and Brodie Grundy redundant.
 

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barry fu

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Jun 8, 2009
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Loving what mclean has been delivering.. undersized for a number 1 ruck but in todays world of only playing one specialist ruck,he is more than capable of playing as the back up resting forward.

Big stature and plays physically...exactly what we need.. extend him now
Great thinking SS, the mighty club Bloods have thrived on such out of the box thinking in recent times!
Solving he McLean's short side, in such a manner - makes sence for his Rucking future!



Looks like club Bloods boffins are at it now!
 

Grand Uncle Horace

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May 24, 2017
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McLean has a lot of potential. A bit undersized to be a genuine number one ruck, but good enough to be the forward/2nd ruck. If he can improve his offensive game and marking ability up forward then he could be one player to watch for Sydney in 2020.
I see him as a KPD or Fwd Ruck. He is a contest beast and has footy smarts.

For me he was the surprise packet recruit. Blakey and Rowbottom lived up to the pre draft hype but not one of the other trades or draftees looked like potential Finals players.

This guy has ripping Finals player written all over him.
 

TheMase

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Guy is a pure footballer.

Will be interesting if he finds a place at AFL level. From my eyes doesn’t appear particularly quick or blessed with agility.
It may make it more difficult for him to make the grade as a genuine KPP.
 

S120

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Guy is a pure footballer.

Will be interesting if he finds a place at AFL level. From my eyes doesn’t appear particularly quick or blessed with agility.
It may make it more difficult for him to make the grade as a genuine KPP.
I'd like to see him continued to be played exclusively as a forward in reserves as he develops because I think he's wasted as a ruck. He's not big enough to win his fair share of hitouts and I doubt he'll be athletic enough into the future to be a mobile ruckman of note. I can see his ceiling (not projecting he will be this, just what I can imagine what is the best we can hope for for his type) as something like Josh Bruce from the Saints. Not unathletic but not the most athletic guy going around, but a tireless worker who has the football IQ to be a stable forward presence.
 

caesar88

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 26, 2016
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Yep, that's a possibility no doubt. The other position is as a big strong KPD. Needs to work on his tank.
I initially thought we drafted him as a defender because it was shortly after Maibaum went down. I said at the time that while I rated McLean, I didn't think he'd be much chop as a defender and I stand by that.

I see no reason why Naismith & McLean can't share ruck duties. Naismith is the better ruck but more vulnerable to injuries so can't be rucking all game solo; McLean is the inferior ruck but can be competitive there and dangerous up forward. It's a win/win for all involved.

(The last two premiers won flags with two average-to-decent rucks in their side.)
 

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