Gary Rohan reckons he owes the Sydney Swans, after they signed the injury-prone speedster to a new three-year deal despite him playing only 27 games in four seasons.
The crowd-pleasing 22-year-old forward missed most of last season with a broken leg, returning to the reserves in round 16.
He played five games there and then kicked five goals in as many senior appearances, putting in cameos in two of the Swans’ three finals fixtures.
Rohan has been unable to catch a break since Sydney swooped on the Cobden talent with pick No. 6 in the 2009 draft.
The broken leg apart, he has spent extensive time on the sidelines with ankle, knee and hamstring injuries, never managing more than nine senior games in a season.
He spent a little time off the ground in last week’s pre-season challenge match against West Coast after getting a knock on his old leg injury, but returned to the field in the last quarter and finished with a team-leading three goals.
Rohan said he was excited and relieved to get another deal with the Swans.
“I don’t have to put too much pressure on myself this year to try to get another contract, so I can go out there and play with a bit of confidence and hopefully have a good year,” he said yesterday.
“It’s really great that they had confidence with me.
“I feel like I owe them a bit now because they have stuck with me, and hopefully I can get them to a premiership or something like that.”
The Cobden and Geelong Falcons product said he had thought about going to a Melbourne club, but revealed the emergence of some quality youngsters, rather than Lance Franklin’s long-term commitment to the club, was what swayed him to stay at Sydney.
“To be honest, I really didn’t think about Buddy being here,” Rohan said.
“I thought about the young boys coming through: Harry Cunningham, Tommy Mitchell and these kind of boys. There’s a great future for the Swans.
“I felt like this club is going to be in the finals in the next three years, so that’s why I stayed.”