Player Watch #9 Will Hayward - contract extended to 2024

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Kennedy Parker

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Will Hayward
Spritely Sydney Swans forward Will Hayward enjoyed a rocketing start to his career as he became the 11th-youngest player in the AFL era to reach 50 career goals in 2018. The 2016 draftee’s nippy pace and cunning goal awareness have made him a dangerous option in coach John Longmire’s forward line. A broken jaw and a persistent hip injury limited Hayward to just 12 goals in 13 senior games in 2019, but the South Australian is attacking the 2020 campaign on the back of his first full pre-season. Don’t be surprised if the exciting Swan finds himself on a wing this year.

Will Hayward
DOB: 26 October 1998
DEBUT: 2017
DRAFT: #21, 2016 National Draft
RECRUITED FROM: Walkerville (SA)/North Adelaide (SANFL)

 

The King!

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Horse implied Hayward's been carrying some niggles, and in the same mouthful says he's lacking confidence. If you play a youngster while he's carrying something he's probably not gonna play with much confidence FFS!

maybe to be fair hes exaggerated a niggle that anyone could carry gives hayward a bit of an excuse, take some pressure off
 

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S120

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Thought Hayward actually had an OK game against Freo, he worked harder and should have been rewarded with that holding the ball late. Take the AFL player ratings for what you will but he was in our top 6 rated on the night.
 

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Glad to see the club looking after its players!

Hayward missed the Cats defeat with injury and Longmire revealed he had hip surgery on Friday.
It was similar to the operation he had on his other hip last year.
The 20-year-old has been clearly hampered by the problem this season, managing just 12 goals from his 13 games.
Longmire said the Swans decided the best course of action for Hayward looking towards 2020 was to have the operation.
"He was playing with it this season and it became too painful for him to keep playing," he said.


 

S120

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Hayward was so unlucky to pick up that broken jaw. He had started the year so well and ever since he came back he's been really inconsistent. He looked to lose all confidence in his goal-kicking, which had been his strength in his first 2 seasons - I thought he was our best set-shot for goal and maybe he still is once he can get his hip recuperated.
 

brad cooper

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Discussion: Hayward is only marginally better than Trent Dennis-Lane and we would be best to trade him before his value drops.
If Hayward was traded out to get a draft pick used in a deal to bring in an A grade midfielder then I have no problems with it, otherwise I'm happy to keep him as he still has a lot of potential.

A lot better than TDL, at the same age Hayward has about 50 AFL games under his belt, TDL was still playing wafl before being picked up by us as a 21 year old.
 

S120

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I love Hayward for how clever around goals he is (2019 was clearly hampered by injury, his accuracy last year was an anomaly imo), and wouldn't trade him at 21 years of age. Too much growth to come after doing the hard yards by getting 53 games into him. And I want as many of our quality young guys to grow together and build a culture of their own.

But I get the idea. You could get a good haul for him and I can see a realistic future of Hayward where he doesn't end up being a hell of a lot more consistently damaging than Gary Rohan was. Two highly skilled and talented forwards who just never won much ball and therefore their value/impact upon games are limited.

But yeh, definitely not trading him. Particularly given the uncertainty of what the AFL will actually be like over the next few years.
 

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caesar88

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I love Hayward for how clever around goals he is (2019 was clearly hampered by injury, his accuracy last year was an anomaly imo), and wouldn't trade him at 21 years of age. Too much growth to come after doing the hard yards by getting 53 games into him. And I want as many of our quality young guys to grow together and build a culture of their own.

But I get the idea. You could get a good haul for him and I can see a realistic future of Hayward where he doesn't end up being a hell of a lot more consistently damaging than Gary Rohan was. Two highly skilled and talented forwards who just never won much ball and therefore their value/impact upon games are limited.

But yeh, definitely not trading him. Particularly given the uncertainty of what the AFL will actually be like over the next few years.
Hayward is there to kick goals and, with the exception of an injury-riddled 2019, he is significantly better at this than Rohan.

Rohan, at 28, has kicked over 20 goals in a season just three times, and never more than 25. Hayward, at 21, has kicked over 20 goals in a season twice, including his first two years when he was a teenager. This suggests he will only get better the more experienced he becomes. Let's not forget he's a 54-game player playing forward in a team with dismal inside 50 numbers.

I couldn't give a sh*t if Hayward only gets 5 touches a game but two of them are goals and the other three are setting up goals. That would make him a very good forward.
 

S120

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Hayward is there to kick goals and, with the exception of an injury-riddled 2019, he is significantly better at this than Rohan.

Rohan, at 28, has kicked over 20 goals in a season just three times, and never more than 25. Hayward, at 21, has kicked over 20 goals in a season twice, including his first two years when he was a teenager. This suggests he will only get better the more experienced he becomes. Let's not forget he's a 54-game player playing forward in a team with dismal inside 50 numbers.

I couldn't give a sh*t if Hayward only gets 5 touches a game but two of them are goals and the other three are setting up goals. That would make him a very good forward.
I don't think he's significantly better than Rohan to this point but he certainly has scope to go far higher than Rohan given how young he is. And I've certainly never been a Rohan fan. I just think Hayward has the potential to end up averaging like 10 touches a game without much impact upon games regularly.

The I50 numbers of the side is certainly very valid.

In reality, nobody would ever average 5 touches with 2 of them being goals and 3 being goal assists. But what would you think of Hayward if we went on to average 10.5 touches a game, 4 marks and 1.5 goals? All I'm saying is that I can definitely see a future version of him who registers those numbers. In which case, there'd be an argument to trade him now if a good deal came up (again, I wouldn't do it, but there's an argument for it). Partly because a mid-sized forward who can't go into the midfield and doesn't average much more than 10 touches a game only is only so valuable (imo) to a side. But if he develops into something more than that, you beauty.
 

caesar88

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I don't think he's significantly better than Rohan to this point but he certainly has scope to go far higher than Rohan given how young he is. And I've certainly never been a Rohan fan. I just think Hayward has the potential to end up averaging like 10 touches a game without much impact upon games regularly.

The I50 numbers of the side is certainly very valid.

In reality, nobody would ever average 5 touches with 2 of them being goals and 3 being goal assists. But what would you think of Hayward if we went on to average 10.5 touches a game, 4 marks and 1.5 goals? All I'm saying is that I can definitely see a future version of him who registers those numbers. In which case, there'd be an argument to trade him now if a good deal came up (again, I wouldn't do it, but there's an argument for it). Partly because a mid-sized forward who can't go into the midfield and doesn't average much more than 10 touches a game only is only so valuable (imo) to a side. But if he develops into something more than that, you beauty.
I just don't see the Rohan comparison. You only need to look at them play to know that they're on different levels of talent. Despite his accuracy woes, Hayward still could've had a 20+ goal season last year despite missing half of it through injury. He has a way of finding space and getting himself into dangerous positions, and also being involved in plays that result in goals. These were things that Rohan could never ever do on a consistent basis.

As for your point about his potential to end up underwhelming, couldn't the same be said of every single young player on our list, like Blakey, Dawson, Florent, Rowbottom etc??
 

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He did say discuss, so you don't have to agree!
Definitely entitled to his/her opinion, but I consider Hayward to have significant upside. He’s young and has produced a lot of goals. I’ve also seen him thrown into the midfield and get touches.

That all said, he goes missing a lot, but that’s to be expected for a 21 year old medium forward. Needs to build a massive tank and the sky is the limit.
 

S120

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I just don't see the Rohan comparison. You only need to look at them play to know that they're on different levels of talent. Despite his accuracy woes, Hayward still could've had a 20+ goal season last year despite missing half of it through injury. He has a way of finding space and getting himself into dangerous positions, and also being involved in plays that result in goals. These were things that Rohan could never ever do on a consistent basis.

As for your point about his potential to end up underwhelming, couldn't the same be said of every single young player on our list, like Blakey, Dawson, Florent, Rowbottom etc??
The Rohan comparison I think is valid in true output as a mid-sized forward. Just look at their numbers. But I certainly grant that Hayward has a lot of upside.

My point about him potentially being underwhelming is linked to his status as a mid-sized forward who can't play anywhere else and has never won a lot of ball. I'm more concerned about his ability to become a really good player than the others you mention as the others are more versatile and play multiple positions (Blakey, Dawson) or are midfielders who have shown in their junior years that they can win a lot of ball (Florent, Rowbottom). Hayward has always been a low possession player who can only play one position.

It might come across like I don't like Hayward which isn't the case, and again, I wouldn't have him on the chopping block (scaryness ) - we're just discussing him. To me, he just has natural limitations in his game which would make him less likely to go to the top level (and be an AA player for example).
 
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