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Sydney Swans’ Paddy McCartin to make comeback from concussion battle against GWS Giants

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Paddy McCartin’s looming AFL comeback will be a remarkable occasion and the Swans revealed the news to him in a perfectly fitting way.

The club has released a video of the emotional moment coach John Longmire delivered the news to McCartin and his teammates, ahead of Sydney’s opening-round clash with the GWS Giants on Saturday.

When McCartin runs out to face the Giants at Sydney Olympic Park this week, the 25-year-old will play an AFL match for the first time since 2018.

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St Kilda selected McCartin with the No.1 pick of the 2014 national draft but delisted the key forward at the end of the 2019 season, after a torrid run with concussions limited him to just 35 senior games in five years.

He stepped away from the game for an entire year to focus on his health and then got a second AFL chance in February 2021, when Sydney snapped him up as a delisted free agent.

McCartin, the older brother of young Swan Tom McCartin, has since impressed in Sydney’s VFL side and scored a spot on the club’s senior list, paving the way for his return to the top level.

“You’ve gone through a lot,” Longmire said in a video released by the Swans, his teammates hanging off every word as the two stood in front of them.

“(From) 2018 to now you’ve had some challenges that are quite unique (and) that not many have faced.

“To your credit you’ve had a really positive attitude, you’ve always been confident to get back.

“This week you’re going to play for the Sydney Swans for the first time.”

The room erupted in cheers and applause, and Longmire and McCartin embraced in a beautiful moment.

“Obviously a great story, quite a unique story in AFL footy circles,” Longmire added as McCartin found a seat.

“But, more than that, you’ve deserved it, mate. We’re not wrapping it up in a bow and just giving it to you; you’ve deserved it through your work-rate.

“So, can’t wait to see what you can kick off at the Sydney Swans.”

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