FORMER North Melbourne captain Andrew Swallow has found a footy home in Queensland — but it’s not at AFL level.
Swallow will play for NEAFL side Aspley in 2018 with the club announcing his signing on Thursday morning.
The three-time best and fairest winner had hoped to continue his AFL career, potentially with brother David at the Gold Coast Suns, but was not picked up after 224 games at the Kangaroos.
Despite that Swallow’s family has still moved up to Queensland, and credited his relationship with Aspley co-captain Ben Warren — who was on North Melbourne’s list from 2006 to 2012 — as a reason for signing with the Hornets.
“We were looking for a move out of Melbourne and we were looking for some warmer weather and a change of lifestyle,” Swallow told the NEAFL website.
“David is about to have a child at the end of February so ideally it would have been great to go to Gold Coast, but when things fell through… we still thought of a move out of Melbourne.
“Speaking to other clubs, they all sounded like they had great opportunities. But having Ben at Aspley — and his wife and my wife are really good friends — it makes that transition to a new club really easy.
“I’d love the opportunity to play with him again. He came to North Melbourne in my second year and we’ve been really close since then.
“I thought, if you’re going to move up there, why not play footy with one of your best mates?”
Swallow joins a number of ex-AFL players at Aspley including former Melbourne ruckman Jake Spencer and former Brisbane forward Jono Freeman.
Swallow is hoping to move into coaching after his playing career ends.
“Being able to still play footy at a high level, but not be as full on and serious as the AFL, I think that would be really good,” Swallow said.
“I’m also looking forward to doing a bit of coaching and helping the younger guys. I think it will challenge me and open my eyes up to the world of coaching.
Swallow played 16 games for North Melbourne in the 2017 season.