Sydney Swans respond after player targeted in nude photo leak

·5-min read
Chad Warner looks on during Sydney's round 20 AFL victory iver the GWS Giants.
Chad Warner has been back by the Sydney Swans after the 21-year-old was the victim of a nude photo leak. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

The Sydney Swans have thrown their support behind breakout star Chad Warner after the 21-year-old was the victim of a leak of nude photos and videos last weekend.

Warner's performance in last weekend's Sydney derby against the GWS Giants was unaffected by the leak, but Swans coach John Longmire has spoken of the importance of rallying behind him.

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Describing the leak of the photos as 'disappointing', Longmire said the images were 'historical' and that they had been shared without Warner's consent.

The Swans were a cut above the Giants last weekend, running away with a 73-point victory, but Longmire said he was more concerned with Warner's wellbeing.

“Disappointed obviously that those images were distributed without his consent. They’re historical. That’s the first instance,” Longmire said.

“The second instance is that we just support him. He’s a good kid and we make sure we wrap our arms around him and support him.”

The leak was first reported by the Daily Telegraph, while Warner himself has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

The Swans, via a statement released last Friday, said they were working towards identifying the source of the leak with the help of the E-Safety Commissioner.

Averaging 23 disposals a game this season after being recruited by the Swans with the 39th pick in the 2019 draft, Warner has emerged as a key piece of a Sydney midfield that has been a top eight contender for much of this season.

Warner had sympathy from much of the AFL community after the leak went public.

The Swans (13-6) were too slick for their crosstown rivals early then controlled the ball and territory with 416-301 disposals and 68-36 inside 50s to secure their fourth consecutive win while hardly getting out of third gear.

Isaac Heeney helped spark the Swans with a mark of the year contender when he jumped onto the back of Lachie Whitfield and got a lift to soar higher then went back to slot the Swans' opening goal.

Swans outclass Giants in one-sided Sydney AFL derby

Heeney finished with 3.2 that could have been more damaging but for missing some simple shots on goal, while Tom Papley again looked sharp with two majors to go with 19 disposals and four clearances as part of his growing midfield role.

Sam Reid continued his resurgence with three goals for Sydney but Sam Taylor was one of few Giants defenders to win their match-up although Lance Franklin booted three second-half goals that unusually included a snap off his right boot.

Young guns Errol Gulden (33 disposals, two goals) and James Rowbottom (23, one) shone bright for the Swans with the ever-reliable Callum Mills (27, one) also dominant.

But it was Luke Parker (game-highs for 34 touches and six clearances) who claimed the Brett Kirk Medal awarded to the best afield in Sydney derbies played at the SCG, the fifth time he has earned the honour.

"It's good to have an experienced head out there at times. He's been to a lot of stoppages and understands the flow of the game. He was good today," Swans coach John Longmire said about Parker.

It was another explosive start from the Swans, who have now averaged 48 points in the opening term in their past three matches at the SCG, as their spread of goalkickers stretched the Giants' defence.

Sydney Swans coach John Longmire speaks to the team during quarter time.
Sydney Swans coach John Longmire was impressed with his team's performance against the Giants. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

The 19-point lead at the first change set up the Swans for their first victory over the Giants on home turf since round 3, 2018, as they pushed to a 31-point advantage at the main break.

The Giants (5-14) have now lost four in a row and look entrenched in the bottom-four.

Toby Greene made the most of limited opportunities to kick two goals, while Josh Kelly (25 touches) and Whitfield (22) offered outside run and carry but lacked enough support to match the Swans.

"I know where he sits in my mind, I absolutely love him, he's a star on and off the field," Giants coach Mark McVeigh said about whether Taylor has earned an All-Australian jacket.

"There are very good people in the right positions to be able to select that. He's severely dominating games.

I'd hate to think if he wasn't playing how many goals they would've kicked. He's a star, an absolute star."

With tall defender Leek Aleer making his debut for the Giants, Harry Himmelberg returned to the forward half and had an immediate impact with the opening goal of the match after only two minutes but the Swans took control from there.

Giants co-captain Stephen Coniglio was a late withdrawal before the match due to soreness, while Swans former captain Josh Kennedy spent the entire match as the medical sub.

With AAP

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