The Swans chose 18-year-old key foward McDonald when he was available at pick four rather than key defender Denver Grainger-Barras after the Bulldogs took Jamarra Ugle-Hagan at pick one, Adelaide chose Riley Thilthorpe at pick two and North Melbourne unexpectedly took Will Phillips at three leaving the highly-touted McDonald available.
Hawthorn then chose Denver Grainger-Barras with the next selection after bidding on Swans’ academy graduate Braeden Campbell meaning the Swans had to match their bid at pick 5. They chose Erroll Gulden at pick 32 and then made one selection in the rookie draft picking South Australian running defender Malachy Carruthers with pick three.
The market for key forwards has been crowded in this off-season with Jeremy Cameron, Joe Daniher, Ben Brown, Jesse Hogan and Peter Wright all changing clubs while Thilthorpe, McDonald and Nik Cox were selected in the top 10 picks.
Sources close to McCartin said the 24-year-old was working through his options but he was unlikely to train on with Sydney in the hope of being chosen in the supplementary selection period and it is unclear whether he will be invited to train at another AFL club.
The Swans, who have a rookie spot unfilled, are open to him potentially playing for their VFL and East Coast second-tier team. They are leaving decisions in the hands of McCartin who played most recently in the pre-season of 2018 but want to support him in his return to football in any way possible.
Under AFL rules clubs are allowed to invite a maximum of six players to train with the squad from January 6 to trial for a spot on the rookie list during the pre-season supplemental selection period which ends on March 9. They need to submit their list to the AFL by December 18.
Former Kangaroo Majak Daw, Demon Oscar McDonald, Bulldog Billy Gowers, Richmond’s Derek Eggmolesse-Smith and Magpie Matt Scharenberg are weighing up their next step too after being overlooked in the rookie draft and delisted free agency period.
Former Saint Ed Phillips is expected to join Box Hill Hawks after his brother Tom joined Hawthorn in the trade period.