The highly publicised tug-of-war between Paul Roos and the Sydney Swans over Lloyd Perris’ playing future was “a media beat up”, said the player himself.
Perris, the 18-year-old midfielder embroiled in the AFL controversy put the Demons to rest by signing a two-year rookie contract with the Swans.
“It was a pretty good feeling, a bit of relief,” said Perris, “I was happy to secure my future for the next couple of seasons and end the speculation.”
Having coached the Swans to the 2005 premiership Paul Roos recently left his position at the Sydney Swans Academy to take up a lucrative offer at the struggling Melbourne Demons.
Roos was allegedly urging the talented 18-year-old to turn his back on Sydney and join him in Melbourne.
“He knew about the rookie list offer and said, not that he would take me, but just that he would help me with the decision because the decision was whether I’d take the rookie list or go into the draft.” Perris said.
Swans chairman Richard Colless was blunt regarding the situation.
“I consider taking players from the academy he has helped build to be an absolute breach of protocol and a gentleman’s agreement.”
Having come to terms with his decision, Perris cleared the air regarding Roos’ approach, maintaining their relationship remains intact.
“People started talking to me about it and asking me if it was true. It wasn’t…Roosy has always been very good to me as a mentor and a friend. I saw it as a media beat up.”
Despite the reports being wide of the mark the Paddington resident was not unaffected by the speculation.
”Not many 18-year-olds get that sort of media attention…it affected me a bit, I was lining up to play (for Swans Reserves) and opened my phone and someone had sent me a link to an article that said Roos was trying to poach me… It was the first time I’ve had to not pay attention to an article that was written about me.”
Perris, a part-time journalism student at UNSW, said he was thankful for the distraction that his studies have provided.
“It’s always good to have something else to focus on…the uni and football balance hasn’t been too hard for me…you might do a night class and you get a lot of help from the uni sport program. Ideally I’ll be playing footy for the next ten years but if it doesn’t go the way I hope I’d say I’ll take up uni full time”
With his playing future now secured for the next two years at least, Perris has yet to set specific goals but with the possibility of a senior debut in 2014 he has high hopes for the coming season.
“If I could get one game that would be great, if not I’d just like to impress in preseason, run some good times and show everyone how serious I am.”