FORMER AFL midfielder Rhys Palmer has signed a two-year contract with Swan Districts after being delisted by his third club in October.
Palmer (28) played 123 AFL games and kicked 95 goals for Fremantle, Greater Western Sydney and Carlton after being drafted at pick seven in the 2007 draft.
The East Fremantle product won the 2008 AFL Rising Star award in his first season at Fremantle.
He has returned WA and took part in his first training session at Bassendean Oval on January 8.
Swans coach Adam Pickering said football manager Phil Smart brought Palmer to the club.
“I believe our football manager Phil Smart has known Rhys for a number of years and he (Smart) was part of the recruiting team that got him (Palmer) into Fremantle originally,” he said.
“I am pretty sure Phil and Rhys have got a good relationship and Phil has always kept in contact with him.”
Pickering said Palmer would initially play in the midfield.
“He is an on-baller so we are expecting Rhys to have a real influence with high possession games and hopefully hitting the scoreboard as well,” he said.
“One of the big factors for us going after Rhys was his leadership and experience.
“We have a real young squad so we wanted to replace a couple of those leaders with some more experience and guide our young players and help them with their development.”
Pickering said the pre-season was going well so far and the club were looking to add one or two more experienced players to its young list.
“I think the players and the coaches really bought into what we are trying to do,” he said.
“They are finding a new voice after having Greg (Harding) for about 10 years – it is probably a rejuvenation for a couple of guys.
“It has been really positive so far.”