Ryan O'Keefe to stay with Swans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ryan O'Keefe to stay with Swans

20/10/2008 07:55:28 PM Comments (0)

Sydney coach Paul Roos says there'll be "no animosity" between the Swans and Ryan O'Keefe who have agreed to play on with the AFL club after failing to organise a trade.

Roos said the 2006 All-Australian half-forward was set to sign a four-year deal.

The 27-year-old Victorian has played 164 games with the Swans since making his debut in 2000 and was a member of Sydney's 2005 premiership side.

O'Keefe's bid to return home to be closer to his family faded after the Swans were unable to strike a deal with Hawthorn or Carlton during the AFL's trade week earlier this month.

The 190cm left-footer could have entered December's pre-season draft but bottom side Melbourne had first selection ahead of Fremantle, West Coast and Port Adelaide.

"There's no animosity at all between Ryan and the Swans or vice-versa," Roos said.

"It will probably be a four-year deal.

"I'm going to catch up with him at some stage this week. He wants to make sure from my point of view there's no problems and there's certainly not.

"My understanding was there was a little bit of pressure on him to go back to Melbourne. But I'll talk through some of those issues with him and find out if there's anything else that we need to work on moving forward."

O'Keefe said in a statement: "I'm relieved and looking to repay the club and Swans supporters for the faith they have shown in me.

"Whilst I did have aspirations to move home to Melbourne, it wasn't to be and I'm more than happy to remain at the Swans, to be with my mates and to live in Sydney," he added.

The Swans felt O'Keefe had agreed to a new deal in late September, but the player returned to Melbourne before signing with a new agent Tom Petroro and pursuing possible trades.

Roos said on October 2: "Without going into too much detail, the offer Ryan's agent has come back to us with is different to the one we had agreed on."

But Roos said that was all forgotten.

"It's great. We obviously didn't want to lose him," he said.

"We understood the fact that he was keen to get back to his family in Melbourne and that happens from time to time.

"But once we got through the trade period and couldn't facilitate a trade, we were pretty confident he'd stay.

"We still have the finer details to nut out with his contract but it's good to have it all finally behind us."

Roos said O'Keefe's late bid for a trade was a "shock".

"We explained that to Ryan prior to trade week so he was aware the fact that we were probably a little bit disappointed in the way the first part of it was handled," Roos said.

"But that's water under the bridge now and that's all forgotten.

"I'm confident he has put it all behind him as we have..."

Roos laughed off speculation about key forward Barry Hall's apparent enthusiasm for quitting football in favour of a boxing career.

"As far as we're concerned he's contracted and we expect him to be here on the 17th of November and we I haven't heard anything different to that," Roos said.

"So if you hear anything, let me know."

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