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Eight is great for Swan Tippett

Ben Collins  December 20, 2012 10:58 AM

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Kurt Tippett (r) battles with Jesse White at Swans training

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KURT Tippett will start the next chapter of his AFL career with the Sydney Swans in the No. 8 guernsey.

Meanwhile, the former numbers of club greats Brett Kirk (No. 31) and Barry Hall (No. 1) have been awarded to draftees Harry Marsh and Tim Membrey respectively.

Tippett, who donned No. 4 in 104 games for the Adelaide Crows, told sydneyswans.com.au that his preference had been for an even number.

"I'm not superstitious, but the number eight was the first even number that came up," he said.

"I've always been an even number. I was four at the Crows and I was 12 when I played basketball as a kid.

"But really it's not something I think too much about. In the end, it's just the number on my back and I'd be happy to play in any number for the Swans."

For Marsh, drafted from East Fremantle, the honour of wearing Kirk's old number takes on extra significance as the former skipper was one of his idols.

"I'm really excited to be able to wear the number and it's going to be a tough act following 'Kirky', but hopefully I'm going to be able to play a similar role to what he did," Marsh said.

"He's just an absolute legend really and he's one of the hardest players I've seen playing the game, so he's a real inspiration and role model to look up to and base my game around."

Former Gippsland Power forward Membrey, the leading goalkicker in the TAC Cup this year, also knows he has big shoes to fill.

"Hopefully I'll be able to match the good players who have worn it before me," he said.

"There are some big names in there and I've had some comments already from family and a couple of mates back home who have asked if I'm going to be the next big Barry Hall. But I'm sure that is something that is a long way down the track."

Mature-age recruit Dean Towers snapped up No. 22, believing it to be a good omen, given he is 22 years old and was drafted with pick 22.

"It really just seemed like everything was pointing at me to go with 22, so I was more than happy to go with number 22," he said.

The Swans' fourth draft selection, Matthew Dick, will don No. 28, formerly worn by premiership player Jared Crouch, now the Swans' reserves coach.

Former rookie Harry Cunningham, who was promoted to the Swans' primary list, has traded up from No. 44 to No. 7.