O'keefe Opts For Safety And Stays A Swan
Tuesday October 21, 2008
HAVING tried and failed to be traded home to Victoria, Ryan O'Keefe has thought the better of leaving his future open to the lottery of a draft and opted for the certainty of continuing life in Sydney.O'Keefe has agreed to a new four-year deal to remain with the Swans after having been the big-ticket focus of trade week.Carlton was O'Keefe's preferred Victorian destination, but the chances of him being able to get through to the Blues in the pre-season draft were slim with a line of clubs ahead of them that were untroubled by the idea of making a "hostile selection" for a reluctant player at the nominal trade cost of a pre-season draft pick.Now O'Keefe and the Swans will seek to repair any facturing of the relations caused by his declaration that he wanted out of the Swans.Despite having made a few mildly critical comments of the player, coach Paul Roos yesterday was untroubled that relations would take time to mend."There's always been goodwill between Ryan and the footy club," Roos said."He was keen to get back to Melbourne and we were trying to facilitate that for him, but it didn't work out."O'Keefe's manager, Tom Petroro, said the desire to move was not about the Swans."Ryan always had an interest in returning to his home, however, it was never an issue of leaving the Sydney Swans, more an issue of wanting to be in his home state," Petroro said.At 27 and an All-Australian, O'Keefe was in the prime of his career to be moving clubs. He said in a statement he was now concerned only with forgetting the whole trade process."For my part, I'm relieved and looking to repay the club and Swans' supporters for the faith they have shown in me," he said."Whilst I did have aspirations to move home to Melbourne, it wasn't to be and I'm more than happy to remain at the Swans, to be with my mates and to live in Sydney. I've moved on now and my focus is very much on next season and getting the best out of myself."The Swans will resume pre-season training on November 17.On speculation that Barry Hall may quit the game for a boxing career, Roos said: "Unless we hear differently, we expect him to be here on November 17 for training."