Xavier Richards lines up with Sydney University for 2017

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Xavier Richards
Ted and Xavier Richards interviewed after their first match together. YouTube/SwansTV

Xavier Richards has signed with Sydney University for 2017. The 23-year-old walked away from a Sydney Swans contract in October.

Richards is a former Sydney Swans forward. He played a total of 12 games for his previous team, which include the AFL Grand Final last year.

Sydney University coach Tom Morrison has commented about Richards’ involvement in his team, saying it is a massive boost for the club to secure a high-quality talent.

“It’s exciting for the club, and it’s a good sign for our NEAFL program that he was willing to sign with us,” Morrison said. “He obviously had a lot of other clubs from all over the country, in particular from Melbourne, chasing after his signature. It’s a bit of a feather in the cap for our program.”

Neafl.com.au shared that Richards will undergo his first training session for this year with his new teammates on Monday. Morrison is confident that Richards’ ability to play at both ends of the ground will be a big asset for the students. Sydney University aims for a maiden Grand Final appearance after two consecutive Preliminary Final berths.

“Having multiple key forwards is an area that we’ve lacked in previous years,” Morrison said.

“Part of my role is to get him back on to an AFL list as much as it is to make sure we perform well for the upcoming NEAFL season.”

According to The Advertiser, Richards will line up against the Swans, Brisbane, Gold Coast and GWS Giants, Southport, Aspley and NT Thunder in the North East Australian Football League (NEAFL). The Uni Boys finished third last year.

Sydney University has also signed six of Sydney’s NEAFL Development Squad players from 2016. Players include Matt Wilson and Ned Reinhard, and Swans’ NEAFL Grand Final players Darcy Baron-Hay, Ryan Hebron, and Nathan Cooper.