Aliir wants more after signing new Swans deal
HE'S played just 22 senior games in five seasons but Sydney defender Aliir Aliir didn't think twice about staying in the Harbour City.
The Kenyan-born Sudanese refugee on Tuesday re-signed with the Swans for another three years, keeping him in red and white until at least the end of 2021.
And he's already set his sights on improving his game to cement his place in the team, including learning new positions to add to his arsenal.
"I'm stoked," Aliir, 23, told The Daily Telegraph.
"I've been here for five years now and I'm very comfortable. My family is very happy that I can continue at such a great club. We were able to get the deal done quickly.
"I just want to play consistent footy and keep working on my craft.
"I'm also working on different skills like playing in the ruck and up forward.
"I don't know when I will get that call up for that but I want to be ready for it when it comes. I want to finish off the year well and playing good footy every match."
The resurgent defender was one of the few shining lights out of Saturday's shock 24-point loss to cellar dwellers the Gold Coast, gathering 24 disposals including 17 intercept possessions and seven marks.
"It was obviously a very disappointing loss," Aliir said.
"We didn't play the footy we wanted to and can play. We've learned from it and now we turn to Essendon on Friday night. We want to get back to our brand of footy which we didn't play on the weekend."
Aliir has had to bide his time to return to the Swans' line-up after injury left him down the pecking order.
He took the AFL by storm in 2016 with his ability to win one-on-one contests and rebound.
He missed the Grand Final loss to the Western Bulldogs after injuring his knee in the preliminary final against Geelong.
He then played just three games in 2017 due to a combination of injuries, form and the improvement of Lewis Melican.
"It was tough last year," Aliir said.
"It wasn't the season I wanted. I was inconsistent and had a few injuries and coming into pre-season last year I still had some niggles. It took time to get my body right."
He played just one match in the first 12 rounds this season after hurting his ankle in the pre-season match against the Lions in Brisbane.
"I had my body in good shape and then did my syndesmosis in the JLT match and that put me back," Aliir said.
"I just had to get back to working hard and talking to my coaches, Shawry (Rhyce Shaw), Tadhg (Kennelly) and Laids (Jeremy Laidler). I was lucky enough to get my opportunity in round 13 against the Eagles. Shawry kept it simple for me and I was able to go out there and play my role. From there I've built my confidence training at a high level week in and week out."