Swans show faith in O'Riordan with two-year extension
The prospect of Colin O'Riordan appearing in a Tipperary jersey again in the coming years look remote after the former Premier dual star penned a two-year contract extension that will see him remain with the Sydney Swans until at least the end of 2021, writes Michael Verney.
O'Riordan had established himself as one of football's finest prospects before departing for an AFL career with the Swans in 2015 and while injury has scuppered his progress, the 23-year-old is now prospering Down Under.
The JK Brackens clubman made his AFL debut last year and earned his place in defence - playing the last nine games in a row - before being rewarded with another two years, much to his delight.
"It's a pretty special moment for me. If you had told me when I first came over that after four years I'd have two more years it'd be hard to believe. It's an absolutely unbelievable feeling," he said.
"Ever since I came to the club I've loved the club, loved everything about it and loved everyone at the club, and I want to repay the faith the club has shown in me. I love everything about the place and I am absolutely ecstatic.
"The GAA is an unbelievable organisation and I absolutely loved playing Gaelic football, but at the end of the day it's not professional. I want to be testing myself against the best and over here you have the opportunity to test yourself against elite athletes."
Swans head of football Charlie Gardiner believes O'Riordan has "gone to another level" with his performances in recent months.
"From the moment Colin walked into the club he had a real determination and desire to become a consistent AFL footballer," Gardiner said.
"Colin's such a driven and competitive person who works incredibly hard to improve. He's gone to another level this year and has emerged to become an important member of the team."