Why Richards was “incredibly embarrassed” by Essendon-Sydney trade

Ted Richards admits his trade from Essendon to Sydney in 2005 left him feeling a bit uneasy.

Richards was 22 at the time when he told the Bombers he’d like to move on after playing 33 games in four seasons in the red and black.

The defender landed at the Swans in exchange for picks 19 and 50, revealing that he was actually embarrassed with what transpired.

“I was out of contract, which makes it far easier, and I said I’d like to go to the Swans,” he told SEN’s Bob and Andy.

“I played the majority of that year at the Bendigo Bombers so I was incredibly embarrassed when Essendon put a first-round draft pick price tag on my head.

“I was even more embarrassed when the Swans said yes, we’ll pay it. I was like, hang on, I’m on the bus to Bendigo every week playing in the VFL.

“Then Essendon came back and said, ‘No, we want more. We want a third-round draft pick’. So there was a discussion around steak knives.

“So it was kind of comical what they had to pay for me. I felt quite sheepish about that.”

Richards would go on to play 228 games for the Swans and was a key part of the 2012 premiership side, landing All-Australian honours that year.

He says things could have been very different.

“I met with ‘Rocket’ (Rodney Eade) quite a few times at the Dogs. I was 22 at the time and quite keen to stay in my comfort zone in Melbourne,” he added.

“But the more I thought about it, the more I was like I actually think a new start with a new team starting off in a new city was quite a good thing.

“The reason why I wanted to go to the Swans was they played in the Grand Final in 2005. It was like three or four days before the Grand Final and they asked if I could fly up to meet with all the coaches.

“I was thinking, you’ve got a Grand Final in a few days, why do you want me to come up for. And they said we want you to be part of our plans next year.

“That was just the biggest indication to me that here’s someone that wants me. The fact me they were prepared to fly me up and with all they’ve got going on, chat with me, was probably further reinforcement that this is where I want to be.”

Initially drafted with pick 27 in the 2000 draft, Richards had no idea he would find his way to Windy Hill as North Melbourne had shown the most interest.

But it was Adrian Dodoro and the Dons who pounced.

“There was about four or five (clubs keen) which was quite a lot I thought considering I didn’t get an invite to the draft camp,” he said.

“The Kangaroos had shown the most interest.

“The night before the draft, Greg Miller who was then at the Roos, came around and said, ‘Look, we’re going to take you tomorrow. We’ve got a new sponsor on board in Russell Athletic, here’s a polo, here’s a hat. When we pick you up and say your name, can you get this on as quick as possible’.

“I recall they had quite a few picks and I was only a 17-year-old that didn’t get an invite to the draft camp. They took Drew Petrie (pick 23) and (Daniel) Harris (pick 14). I think they even had one late 20s and I was just waiting for that and then Dodoro read my name out.”

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