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Swans star reveals racist messages

Swans star reveals racist messages

It is another Indigenous star, Lance Franklin, who Amartey bonded with during their time together at the Swans. As a Franklin apprentice, he has one abiding memory of the recently retired Swans great: his overwhelming desire to win – at everything.

Joel Amartey competes for the ball with mentor Lance Franklin.

Joel Amartey competes for the ball with mentor Lance Franklin.Credit: Phil Hillyard

“Around the club you’d always find him playing FIFA on PlayStation or table tennis with us young boys,” Amartey recalled with a laugh as he prepares to line up for Sunday’s match against Richmond at the MCG. “Absolutely every aspect of his life he had to win.”

It is an attitude, Amartey says, which has set the Swans up for life beyond Buddy. After a flying start to the season with three impressive victories, it would be no surprise if the Swans were on top of the ladder by Sunday evening given Richmond are yet to win a game this season.

“I worked with him pretty closely, and we became good mates as well on the field, on the training track, and around the club as well,” Amartey said of Franklin. “Learning from a key forward like that, you take your notebook out.

“Those key forward nuances you don’t know, unless you’re doing it. They become second nature, the body work and the positioning, all those little things.”

Now Amartey and Logan McDonald are the targets up forward who are learning not to get in each other’s way as a blitzing midfield gives them some great service.

“I think we’ve probably done pretty well,” Amartey said. “He’s [McDonald] more of a lead-up, get up the ground, work-rate type of key forward, and I tend to sit a bit deeper under high balls. I think it works pretty well in that way.”


Amartey has had a lot of learning to do in a hurry. He didn’t take Australian rules seriously until year 11 at high school after falling out of love with soccer and basketball.

However, the Swans have been prepared to play the long game with him, playing just 13 senior games in his first five seasons as his body adjusted to the rigours of the AFL. Last season was a breakout with 15 games and he will be lining up for his fourth straight game this year on Sunday.

Despite little obvious productivity he was given a three-year contract extension midway through last season.

“That was unbelievable,” Amartey said, taken by the faith the Swans have shown in him. “I’d been on one-year contracts.”

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