Errol Gulden ahead of the 2024 season. Picture: Phil Hillyard

SYDNEY superstar Errol Gulden says he took inspiration from a Liverpool legend when deciding to commit his future to the Swans rather than entertain a tempting ten-year offer from a rival club.

The reigning Sydney club champion also conceded that there have been talks between players at the Swans about sacrificing money in order to ensure their current group stays together in pursuit of a premiership.

Gulden, who became an All-Australian last year in just his third season, committed to the Swans for a further four years on Wednesday, tying him to the club until the end of the 2028 campaign.

As reported on Gettable in March, Gulden had long-term offers on the table from rivals, with Adelaide one of the clubs to come hard for the 21-year-old. But it was not something the Academy product ever seriously considered, despite conceding it was a stressful process at times.

"It can be lost on people that I am just 21. I don't want to get the world's smallest violin out - it's an awesome problem to have," said Gulden, who confirmed he turned down a 10-year offer from one club.

"At the end of the day it was a pretty easy decision for me.

"I've evolved with this club since I was quite a young boy. Also, just the list we've got. We're still one of the youngest lists in the comp. I'm so excited with the direction we're heading in and I want to be apart of that and couldn't see myself playing anywhere else."

Errol Gulden in action during Sydney's clash against Melbourne in Opening Round, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

While the possibility of going elsewhere was never realistic, the Liverpool-mad midfielder was motivated by an Anfield great as he locked away his future.

"The obvious one is Steven Gerrard. He had big deals from Chelsea and things like that but he stayed with Liverpool and won the Champions League. I do draw inspiration from that. It's probably not quite as the same level of pressure as 'Stevie G' was under, though," he said.

"Even Trent Alexander-Arnold, he's from Liverpool, born and raised through the academy and I'd be pretty flat if he ever left. So I guess I can't be a hypocrite."

Gulden discussed the process around signing his new deal at the Swans a mere five metres from the five premiership cups that are on display at the club's headquarters.


Adding to that collection is the sole focus for the duration of his new contract.

"I just want to win as many premierships as I can. If we can win four or five premierships, I'll be pretty happy," he said.

With a 4-1 record to start the season and coming off a Grand Final appearance in 2022, with one of the younger core groups in the competition, Sydney is well placed to satisfy the premiership desire of Gulden and others.

But with the likes of Logan McDonald, Will Hayward and Oli Florent coming out of contract this season and Chad Warner’s deal running out next year, keeping everyone together under the salary cap amid higher offers from elsewhere will prove to be a challenge.

"We've had little chats here and there. We all understand that you have to look after yourself to some degree as well. I think we'll all be looked after fairly when that decision comes," Gulden said.

"Everybody's in different circumstances, but at the end of the day all of us want to have team success, That's why you play footy. I want to look back and say I was able to play in premierships. To do that, sometimes you might have to sacrifice a little bit of money.

"I think looking back, if we're able to have a really successful career in terms of team success there won't be any regrets from anyone.

"We're all really close and we all have so much faith in one another and a lot of belief in what we can achieve. Despite our young age, we've all played a lot of footy together now as well. If we can keep that core group together, I think the sky's the limit for us."

Errol Gulden celebrates a goal for Sydney against West Coast in R4, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

A sensational 2023 campaign that netted the Bob Skilton Medal and an All-Australian blazer saw Gulden emerge as one of the best players across the competition in just his third season. This year, he's kicked five goals in his past three games and is yet again in the top bracket statistically across the League for score involvements, inside 50s and goal assists.

Along with his own assessment of his early form, it's a scary proposition for opponents.

"I feel like I've probably started the season this year better than last year. The thing I've got to work through is dealing with my own expectations and not putting too much pressure on myself," he said.

"Most importantly the team's started the season a lot better than last year."