Swans swing AFL draft surprise at No.5

Jason Phelan
Sydney pulled a surprise by picking Dylan Stephens as the No.5 draft pick

When Dylan Stephens flies into Sydney to join his new Swans teammates it will be the first time he sets foot in the Harbour City.

The first round of the AFL draft deviated from the script when Sydney used pick No.5 on Stephens and it's fair to say the move came as a surprise to him as well.

The Norwood midfielder knew there was some chance the Swans would call his name at Marvel Stadium on Wednesday night, but he thought it more likely he would stay in Adelaide with the Crows, who had the next pick.

Most phantom drafts had Sydney taking Gippsland Power forward Sam Flanders, but the Swans rated Stephens' elite ball-winning capabilities and creativity above all others.

"I've never been to Sydney but I've heard a lot about it," Stephens said, smiling broadly.

"Never been though.

"It was not expected, I thought it was going to be Sam, but I knew I was in the mix.

"I had a really good chat with them at the combine, especially John Longmire, and it went really well.

"But they didn't speak with my parents, so that's also a reason why I thought it might not be Sydney."

However, Swans recruiting chief Kinnear Beatson had been following Stephens' development closely for two years.

"We really liked the fact that he can play both inside and outside midfield roles ... it gives us a bit more flexibility and the fact that he's a left-footer is handy," Beatson said.

"He's a great kid and he's got a bit of an association with Will Hayward from St Peter's College (in Adelaide).

"For us when you're talking about drafting kids from interstate, if there's a link it certainly helps."

Stephens won't just need to hit the ground running in a football sense, the Mildura native has a steep learning curve ahead of him as he gets to know his adopted home.

"I know bugger all - I've got the Sydney Harbour bridge and that's about it," he said.

"I love the beach though so I might have to buy a surfboard.

"Are there any good waves there?"