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“A very strange decision”: The aspect of Gulden’s contract that star Swan may regret


Former GWS captain Phil Davis believes Errol Gulden is a future captain of the Sydney Swans and the winger’s signature is a huge coup for the harbour city club.

But Davis admits he’s confused as to why Gulden – whose new contract was announced on Wednesday evening – signed through until 2028, given that’s the year Tasmania is expected to enter the competition.

Gulden signed a new four-year deal, taking him through to free agency. The 21-year-old finished fourth in last year’s Brownlow Medal and looks to have a bright future in the league, flourishing as both an inside/outside contest player.

Davis, speaking on SEN’s Whateley, suggested Gulden may have cost himself a larger contract in the future.

“It makes sense to me except for one thing: I don’t know why he didn’t do three years, I think four years was a very strange decision,” Davis began.

“You’ve got Tasmania coming in 2028. You want to be out of contract in 2027. Even if he doesn’t want to engage in that, he can do a one-year extension to get to free agency if he wants to or at that point you can sign 10 years then, because then he’ll be 25.

“I just thought that was strange in the sense that he’s obviously a star player – to be fair, in my dealings with him, he seems like a future captain so maybe for him, it doesn’t really matter – but from my point of view I’m always trying to leave my options open if I was him.”

Tasmania was granted a licence in May last year to enter the AFL in 2028. The club’s to-be-built stadium in Macquarie Point, Hobart is expected to be completed in 2029, although construction is yet to start.

In good news for the Devils, the State Liberals have formed government yet again after a hung parliament originally, with Premier Jeremy Rockliff sticking to his promise of building the stadium.

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Meanwhile, Gulden also told Fox Footy he was offered a 10-year contract at a rival club before re-signing with the Swans. Nine reports that club was Adelaide.

Davis added: “Hearing him openly talk about the fact there was 10 years on the table (from another club), that contract would have been massive, that would have been 12, 13 or 14 million.”

Gulden spoke to why he believed four years was the right extension.

“At the end of the day, I think four years was the right option for me and for the club,” he said.

“It gives them a bit of security over the next four years, but it also allows me to concentrate on my footy and not worry about what the future holds for the timebeing while also leaving a bit up to me that I do have to perform as well, because hopefully I’ll be able to get another contract after that. It’s up to me to keep performing.”

Gulden has played every game through 2024, averaging 24.8 touches, 5.8 inside 50s and 4.0 clearances a game.

Sydney Swans

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