Joel Amartey celebrates a goal during the round six match between Sydney and Gold Coast at the SCG, April 21, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

THERE have been glimpses of the Joel Amartey party at Sydney across the last four seasons but after a strong month the 24-year-old is hoping he's now found the consistency both he and his coach are craving from him.

The Sandringham Dragons product arrives at the MCG to take on Hawthorn on Saturday off the back of 10 goals in his last four games, including four majors on hulking Gold Coast defender Sam Collins in the Swans' 53-point win last week.

"It was a little bit of reward, he's a good defender," Amartey told

"He's as big as a house, you find yourself backing into him and he doesn't go anywhere!

Joel Amartey leads Sam Collins to the ball during the round six match between Sydney and Gold Coast at the SCG, April 21, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

"I found ways to impact the scoreboard from other means, not just leading and marking, so that was pleasing personally."

Adding those extra strings to the Amartey bow has been a close watch for the Swans faithful.

The talents of the smooth moving forward have always been clear - speed on the lead, a strong leap, clean hands and a crisp kick.

But the ability to compete in the contest with defensive beasts such as Collins, and improve his fitness base to impact the game for longer, have been the questions surrounding him.


As he gets set to play his 35th game this week, Amartey says he's starting to answer them.

"Fitness wise, I've been able to complete my first pre-season since I've been at the football club, so that's given me a good base and good confidence in my body that I'll hold up for the whole season and run out games and provide whatever the team needs from me week in, week out," he said.

"In any position in football it's a balancing act between wanting the football and those easy possessions and marks, but when it's your time to tackle and create a contest, you have to flick in that mode within a millisecond, bite down on the mouthguard and give the team what it needs in that moment."

Last week was Amartey's moment to grab some headlines in the Swans forward line, but along with Logan McDonald and Hayden McLean, the trio are more than mindful that in any given week it may be their turn to take a back seat on the scoreboard.

Logan McDonald and Joel Amartey during the Swans' Official Team Photo Day on January 16, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

"It's a relationship that's come a long way over the past two years. As all forwards know it could be your day or it could be the day you give it off to your teammates. You either get your lick of the ice-cream or you don't.

"It's about finding ways that all three of us can impact the game week in, week out, but in different ways. One of us might be hitting the scoreboard, the other creates the contest for it. The turntable turns every week," Amartey said on the key-forward dynamics.

With a Ghanian background through his parents and formative years spent playing basketball and soccer, Amartey concedes his football pedigree is a little different to others in the Swans setup.

He was a Western Bulldogs fan growing up but not necessarily a bonafide 'footy head'. The lustre of the MCG however, where he'll take on the Hawks today, isn't lost on him.

Joel Amartey in action during the round 18 match between Sydney and Western Bulldogs at the SCG, July 13, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

"I went to a couple of games growing up and watched the Doggies at the 'G but I didn't have too much of a sentimental background, but when you step in it even before a captain's run it's different to any other ground. The size and colosseum shape, you can feel the aura, that's for sure.”

And the belief is growing inside Amartey that he can take charge of a big game in footy's grandest arena.

"You've got to have that bit of swagger and confidence every time you step on the field. Sometimes it just comes down to kicking straight and taking your opportunities which might only happen once or twice a season in those big games.

"I'm pretty happy though if I'm just providing a physical presence and doing what the boys need me to do in that time, and then the reward for that inside the four walls comes graciously," he said.


"A good example of that is James Rowbottom, playing his 100th this week. He's starting to get that outside recognition, but inside the four walls there's no player who is trusted more than himself."

Along with Rowbottom's milestone, Amartey will also be celebrating his school teammate at Mentone Grammar and former roommate in Sydney in Oli Florent's 100th consecutive game today.

Amartey may still be a fair way off bringing up three figures himself and present a languid disposition at times to those on the outside, but is not afraid to voice his thoughts in the Swans' inner sanctum.

"You want to earn your stripes before you say too much, but the group we've got, we're all from interstate besides four or five of us, so you become best friends pretty quick, so it's easy to say what you want and think without being judged negatively," he said.

Joel Amartey celebrates with fans after the round one match between Collingwood and Sydney at the MCG, March 15, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

"The whole squad is really comfortable with everyone's voice. There's no hierarchy system or anything like that. Everyone sees the game differently of course, but everyone's heard and everyone feels pretty comfortable saying what they think."

The voice of coach John Longmire clearly reigns above all others at the club though, and his call for Amartey is simply to maintain the consistency he's shown across the last four weeks.

"He's big and strong and hits the contest hard and that's what we need from him, the other stuff is the bonus," Longmire said.

"He's got pretty good footwork for a big fella and he's got great speed. We need to make sure our players are consistent in their approach and Joel's no different."