Booze-fuelled Mad Monday barney sends star Swan to the surgeon, Kingsley claims coach of the year

Sydney co-captain Callum Mills has undergone shoulder surgery after injuring himself at post-season drinks and could be in doubt for the start of the next AFL season.

The Swans confirmed the gun midfielder had surgery last week, with the Seven Network reporting Mills suffered the injury while wrestling with a teammate at the traditional season-ending ‘Mad Monday’ celebrations.

Sydney would not put a timeline on Mills’ return but his recovery is sure to eat into the pre-season, if not the start of the Swans’ 2024 campaign.

Will Hayward and Callum Mills of the Swans celebrate winning the preliminary final.

Callum Mills (L) with Will Hayward. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

“Losing players to injury in the off-season is always disappointing,” Swans football boss Charlie Gardiner said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Callum is our captain and an important member of the squad. We are extremely disappointed this injury has occurred.

“Callum is equally disappointed, as you can imagine, but he is recovering well and will get to work on his rehabilitation immediately.”

Mills missed most of the 2018 season after breaking his foot in a bizarre accident.

In May of that year, the Swans announced Mills was throwing an American football with teammates on the way back from a cafe when he tripped and fell.

The 26-year-old has played 155 games since his 2016 debut, originally at half-back before moving into midfield.

Last year’s grand finalists, Sydney finished eighth this season and were knocked out by Carlton in the elimination final.

Kingsley named AFL coach of the year

Greater Western Sydney’s Adam Kingsley has capped an extraordinary debut season in charge of the Giants by being named the AFL’s coach of the year.

After taking on the job vacated by long-time coach Leon Cameron, Kingsley endured a tough start to his career at the Giants before almost qualifying for a grand final in his first season.

GWS fell just one point short of Collingwood in last Friday night’s preliminary final after winning sudden-death matches away against St Kilda and Port Adelaide.

Kingsley, who had a 15-year apprenticeship at Port Adelaide, St Kilda and Richmond, won the AFL Coaches Association’s (AFLCA) highest honour, beating out grand final rivals Craig McRae (Collingwood) and Chris Fagan (Brisbane Lions).

The 48-year-old was awarded 263 votes from his peers, ahead of last year’s winner McRae (197) and Fagan (164).

“It’s a tremendous honour to receive this award, particularly given it’s an award voted on by the other coaches,” Kingsley said.

“I’m grateful for the support I’ve received this season from the club and our players but also a whole new coaching group, and I’m exceptionally proud of the way we’ve come together to build a whole new program.

“While still disappointed by the result on Friday night, in time I think we’ll look back on this season with a great amount of pride, particularly in the growth of our group.”

GWS started the Kingsley era in shaky fashion, slumping to 15th on the ladder with a 3-7 record after 10 rounds.

But the Giants stormed home to secure seventh spot before winning at the MCG and the Adelaide Oval in the finals.

GWS won at 11 different venues throughout the season – a VFL/AFL record.

“We all saw last Friday night the improvement the Giants have made in such a short amount of time and Adam deserves a ton of credit for the way he has applied himself and organised his team to again be one of the most dangerous up and coming sides in the AFL competition,” AFLCA boss Alistair Nicholson said.


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