Swans re-sign Pyke, Bird

Sportal October 30, 2012, 10:08 am
Mike Pyke

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The Sydney Swans have re-signed Mike Pyke and Craig Bird for a further two seasons, the AFL premiers have announced.

Former Canadian rugby international Pyke played 18 matches for the Swans in 2012, including all of their finals as Sydney won their first AFL premiership in seven years.

Having played just 28 games before this season, 2012 was a breakthrough year for the 28-year-old ruckman, who excelled in the Swans' Grand Final triumph as he was forced to ruck alone during the second half after fellow big man Shane Mumford was forced off with an injury.

But Pyke has claimed there's still room to improve his game.

"Since my arrival at the club, my number one priority for every session has been to improve," Pyke said.

"I still feel like I have plenty of development left in me and hopefully I can add a few more strings to my bow next year."

Pyke averaged over 21 hit-outs and over 10 disposals per game this season, including 29 and 16 respectively in the grand final win against Hawthorn.

"Mike has come a long way in the last four years and we are looking forward to seeing where he can get to in the next year and beyond," Swans football manager Dean Moore said.

"He has still only played 46 senior matches, so there is no doubt he will keep improving."

Premiership-winning team-mate Bird has also put pen to paper on a new two-year deal after a breakout season of his own.

Having had previous campaigns ruined by injury, Bird played every game for the Swans in 2012 and was one of the side's most consistent performers out of midfield and up forward.

"Craig was one of eight Swans to play all 25 matches this year and posted a top 10 finish in the club champion award," Moore said.

"He has had some injury issues over the last few years, so it was great to see him have an uninterrupted season and play some really important roles for us."

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