Mumford gets Giant push to Sydney rival
RUCKMAN Shane Mumford (pictured) was keen to keep living in Sydney despite being forced off the Swans playing list by the impending arrival of Lance Franklin.
The 27-year-old said yesterday that he was disappointed to be leaving the club where he spent four seasons and helped secure the 2012 premiership.
He knew the writing was on the wall, however, after it was announced this week that the Swans were set to welcome the superstar Hawk - and would need to free up money in their salary cap.
"When my contract talks were put off and put off again and then they signed Buddy, we (he and his manager) started going hard at a couple of other clubs to see where I might be able to continue my career," said Mumford, who was believed to be on at least $400,000 a season. "I was lucky enough that the Giants could get me."
Having begun his career as a rookie with Geelong in 2008, Mumford has played 100 AFL games. He was sounded out by Hawthorn, but said he was settled in the Harbour City and happily accepted a three-year deal to join GWS.
"We were talking to Hawthorn as well, but how could I leave Sydney with weather like this?" he quipped to reporters yesterday in overcast conditions.
The powerfully built 198cm, 108kg Mumford, who will partner Jon Giles in the ruck at the GWS, hopes a few more senior recruits will be enticed to the fledgling club during the trade period.
"The plan is obviously to get a few more experienced guys among the young group," he said. "It's just a bit of a wait-and-see for who they can talk to and get over the line."
Mumford's departure means Canadian Mike Pyke will assume the No.1 rucking position at Sydney, with 202cm forward Kurt Tippett as the back-up when not helping form an imposing attack with Franklin.
Mumford's rejection of Hawthorn's advances means the 2013 premier will focus its attention on gaining the services of homesick Brisbane ruckman Billy Longer, the No.8 pick in the 2011 national draft.
The future of Hawks' premiership big man Max Bailey, who has recovered from three knee reconstructions, remains unclear.