DRAFTEE Ryley Stoddart has "turned a few heads" at Sydney as the defensive playmaker firms for a round one debut, captain Josh Kennedy says.
The 18-year-old is looming as a bargain for the Swans after they used pick No.53 for him in last year's NAB AFL Draft.
Two eye-catching performances in the JLT Community Series have Stoddart well and truly in the mix for the trip to Perth to face West Coast on March 25.
"Ryley really impressed in the two practice games, and he's been a highlight of the JLT Series," Kennedy told AFL.com.au.
"We put some young players out there to see how they go and he was one that really put his hand up.
"He certainty turned a few heads with the playing group and coaching staff, so it's going to be a tough match committee discussion picking round one."
The Eastern Ranges product has mounted a strong case for inclusion, providing the Swans with the dash, dare and finishing skills they have been looking for.
Twelve disposals and six marks at 75 percent efficiency in the club's first pre-season hit-out against Brisbane was followed up by another assured performance in limited game time against Greater Western Sydney.
With veteran half-back Jarrad McVeigh unlikely to be fit for the opening round with a calf complaint, Stoddart's ability to hit the ground running at AFL level has quickly won the respect of the playing group.
"He has composure, he's quick and uses the ball well and his understanding of his role, the team structures and what's required of him is very impressive," Kennedy said.
"He takes the game on and has caught the guys attention."
McVeigh isn't the only important Swan in doubt to face the Eagles, with Kennedy's midfield partner in crime, Dan Hannebery, also struggling with a calf issue.
Like McVeigh, injury has prevented the three-time All Australian from taking to the field this pre-season, and Kennedy wasn't sure of Hannebery's chances of joining him on the flight to Perth.
"He's a realistic chance, maybe 50-50, I'm not too sure," Kennedy said.