Jack Patterson is straddling two sporting worlds - slinging a thick leg over them both and tightly gripping the reins for what promises to be a hellacious ride.
For the first time the 21-year-old is juggling rugby league, the old love, and AFL, the new love.
The North Tamworth premiership winner favours helping the Bears secure a record-extending seventh-straight premiership.
But in his brief association with the Swans, a real passion for the club and the game has fomented.
As the Swans look to go back-to-back to start the season, at home to the Nomads on Saturday, Patterson aims to maximise Group 4 staging games on Saturday and Sunday this year (AFL North West is on Saturday).
After kicking 15 goals in the truncated 2020 season, his Aussie rules debut, he booted four majors in the Swans' 63-point defeat of the Saints at a wet and cold No 1 Oval in round one last weekend.
"I'll try and juggle it," he said of the two codes. "But, obviously, league comes first for me - but I'm enjoying my time in AFL as well."
Used off the bench in the Bears' past two premierships, the Farrer alumnus wants to secure a starting spot this season at lock or prop.
"Hopefully I can make my mark," he said.
Patterson joined the Swans after the 2020 Group 4 season was cancelled due to the pandemic.
A host of senior Bears departed the club after the side's 40-4 defeat of Kootingal-Moonbi in the 2019 finale.
"Yeah, we've lost some experienced players," Patterson said. "But some of the younger blokes are gearing up for a big year - Dan Kelly, Liam Bell, Mark Simon - good young footballers."
This month, Simon was named in the under-18 NSW Country side as a starting prop.
Patterson said the Swans were looking formidable to make back-to-back grand finals - and then "take it a step further than last year".
"It's an exciting prospect for is year," he added.
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