Chad Warner's stunning response after AFL revenge porn saga

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Sydney Swans players Lance Franklin and Chad Warner are pictured celebrating a goal.
Sydney Swans midfielder Chad Warner impressed the club with his response after intimate images of him were posted online without his consent. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Sydney Swans ace Chad Warner has left the AFL club impressed with the way he handled being targeted in a revenge porn attack earlier this year.

The club sought to protect Warner after images of him were shared online without his consent prior to the Swans' derby game against the GWS Giants back in July.

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It was a moment that threatened to derail the 21-year-old's breakout AFL season, but instead Warner has found a way to put the mortifying saga behind him.

Warner was named in the 44-man All Australian squad this week in recognition of his outstanding season for the Swans, with his breakout key to the club earning a surprise top-four finish and a qualifying final showdown against reigning premiers Melbourne this weekend.

In 21 games this season Warner has averaged 23 disposals and four tackles per game, becoming a crucial cog in Sydney's midfield.

Speaking to The Age ahead of the blockbuster showdown against the Demons, Warner credited Sydney's vaunted 'Bloods' culture for helping him deal with the gross invasion of his privacy.

“A lot of people kind of said I’ve handled it probably a bit better than they thought,” he said.

“I pretty much just saw it, and then at the time I was like … obviously it’s not great, something you don’t want to happen to you.

“The club found out about it, and the support they showed was massive. All the boys, we’re great mates, they helped me through it really well … [They] had a bit of a laugh about it, which probably helped me a bit.

“I guess I’m the type of person that just moves on from stuff anyway. At the time I had just had to move on from it, and so I didn’t let it affect me.

"There’s no point feeling sorry for yourself. You’ve just got to get on with business, and that’s what we did.”

Sydney Swans aiming for ruck superiority against reigning premiers

Sydney coach John Longmire will back in his incumbent ruck combination to limit the influence of Melbourne stars Max Gawn and Luke Jackson in their AFL qualifying final.

The Swans are on guard for Gawn in particular after the Demons' skipper produced a dominant individual performance in their most recent meeting back in round 12.

The six-time All-Australian ruckman kicked three goals from 28 disposals and nine marks, yet the Swans emerged narrow winners against a Melbourne side that was missing key defender Steven May.

Gawn got the better of Peter Ladhams but Sydney's first-choice ruckman Tom Hickey has since returned and rekindled his partnership with key forward Sam Reid over the last two months.

Longmire has put plenty of time into his planning around Gawn ahead of Friday night's clash at the MCG.

The Sydney Swans celebrate as they walk off the ground after their rund 23 win over St Kilda.
The Sydney Swans outperformed expectations in 2022 to earn a surprise top four finish. (Photo by Morgan Hancock/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

"He and Jackson are as good a ruck combination going around and they've got some elite midfielders that they can give good service to," Longmire told reporters on Wednesday.

"Max is obviously a key part of that and he's a very strong captain.

"We talk about ways of making sure we can reduce his influence but it's Tom Hickey, it's Sam Reid and those guys making sure that they compete for a long time because we know that Max will.

"We all need to make sure that we keep that pressure on and Max's presence in the air, whether it's a stoppage or contested marking situation, is obviously a very high level."

Any thoughts of Sydney recalling Ladhams this week were quashed when the back-up big man was suspended in the VFL.

Ladhams has played 11 senior matches this season but could miss the Swans' entire finals campaign after he was handed a three-match ban for rough conduct last weekend.

It is the former Port Adelaide ruckman's second suspension this season after his one-match ban for striking ex-teammate Ollie Wines.

With AAP

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