There aren’t many players in the AFL Sydney’s imposing superstar Lance Franklin looks up to. But he will literally have to do that when the newest Swan Michael Knoll walks into the sheds.
Michael Knoll will walk into the Swans sheds and immediately look down on Lance Franklin.
The 26-year-old ruckman measures in at 205cm, that’s 6ft 8, so he’ll be hard to miss.
Buddy, in comparison measures a “mere” 199cm according to the club’s official website.
It’s been a whirlwind couple of days for Knoll, secured from South Adelaide in the SANFL in Monday night’s mid-season rookie draft on a night when the Swans also added midfielder Cody Hirst to their stocks.
Knoll spent four years in the US college basketball system in Iowa before turning his attentions to AFL.
Having only played his first competitive game of AFL in 2017 he accepts full-time AFL “work” will be a whole new challenge.
“I’m obviously going to have to come in and prove myself but I’m excited at the opportunity,” he said.
“For me, it’s about just getting better and working to get better every week. I’ve come a long way in a short time and being in a full-time environment can only help my development as a ruckman.
“I really feel like I’m only just now starting to come into my prime as an athlete. I’ll be striving to put my name out there for AFL selection, but as I said, it’s about getting better.”
He admits it will feel a little strange getting changed alongside Franklin and a host of other familiar faces.
“Buddy Franklin’s been a legend of the game for a long time, to be on the same team as him will be amazing but I’m looking forward to getting to know all the guys. I already know Hayden McLean from our time at South Adelaide,” he said.
Swans national recruiting manager Simon Dalrymple added: “Michael has progressed really well in recent years,” Dalrymple said.
“Ever since he got an opportunity to play at South Adelaide he’s developed really well, and we hope that development can continue at the Swans.”
While delighted to see players getting a chance to pursue their AFL dream, SANFL are far from happy with the mid-season rookie draft.