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Aliir Aliir

Age: 28yr 3mth    Games: 107     Born: September 5, 1994     Origin: East Fremantle
Height: 194cm     Weight: 96kg     Position: Defender
Last Drafted: Round 3, Pick #44 2013 National Draft by Sydney Swans
Supercoach Price: $394,900   Supercoach Profile
AFL Fantasy Price: $465,000   AFL Fantasy Profile
Contract Status: Out of contract at the end of 2024   AFL Player Contracts
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Aliir Aliir Biography

Monday, 21 March 2022
Aliir Aliir is booked in for syndesmosis surgery following Port Adelaide's bruising encounter with Brisbane and could be sidelined for up to eight weeks.
Thursday, 30 September 2021
Ollie Wines wins his first John Cahill Medal as Port Adelaide's club champion for 2021.

Wines polled in every game to finish a clear winner on 229 votes, clear of Travis Boak (167) and Aliir Aliir (164).

Wednesday, 11 November 2020
Sydney trades Aliir Aliir to Port Adelaide in exchange for a future second-round pick. Aliir will receive a four-year deal at Alberton.
Monday, 26 November 2018
Aliir Aliir receives a unique haircut from Sydney teammate Sam Naismith, a dyed blonde mohawk.
Tuesday, 24 July 2018
Aliir Aliir signs a new three-year deal that will keep him at the Swans until the end of 2021.

"Since 2016, Aliir has had to overcome some injury challenges but we have seen in the past couple of weeks what he is capable of," Sydney football manager Tom Harley said.

"Aliir is a popular clubman who we see playing an integral role for our club in the future."

Monday, 16 July 2018
Aliir Aliir says he is focused on the future and continuing his bid to cement himself in the Swans' side after spending 18 months in the footy wilderness.

Aliir was the feelgood story of Sydney's run to the Grand Final a couple of seasons ago, but a knee injury cost him the chance of playing in the decider, and the next year was ruined by a combination of injuries and an off-field indiscretion.

Coach John Longmire didn't pick the promising youngster after he missed a training session ahead of a round seven clash with Brisbane and dropped him after one appearance in round four this year.

But after an extended run in the NEAFL the athletic rebounding backman earned a recall against West Coast in round 13 and has been outstanding since.

"I'm feeling more confident the more I play and it's just about worrying about what I bring to the team, and what my strengths are," Aliir said.

"With my run and carry, it's about having the confidence to do that week in week out, and at the moment I'm feeling good with that (part of my game)."

Sunday, 15 July 2018
Aliir Aliir hopes his duel with Majak Daw can inspire the next generation of Sudanese stars to play AFL.

Aliir was opposed to Daw for the opening three quarters before sneaking forward to clinch the Swans' six-point win over North Melbourne on Sunday.

"He set the tone for myself as a young kid playing under 18's, (while) he was the first Sudanese (player) to make it on an AFL list, I was looking up to him," Aliir said.

"He was able to contact me and give me advice and things like that and what I need to work on.

"Hopefully there's other Sudanese kids out there who want to play AFL footy one day, Majak certainly set the standards for us and I'm glad to see him doing well."

Tuesday, 30 January 2018
Sydney coach John Longmire says he is keen to try Aliir Aliir in a variety of roles in 2018.

"We think he can play as a key defender, but also a third tall role and give us some more rebound and punch from our back half. We think he can also play in the ruck as a second ruck and give us some real mobility around the ground," Longmire said.

"Ultimately, it will be determined by form and what roles are there – he just needs to grab them."

Friday, 19 January 2018
Aliir Aliir is keen to leave 2017 behind him and throw all his energy at the future.

Aliir played three of the first four games of 2017 but wasn't seen at senior level again, after Lewis Melican debuted in round five and consolidated his spot in the League's most miserly defence.

"Last year didn't go my way, I wanted to be out there and it was tough to watch," he said.

"I want to be playing at the top level every week so it was disappointing, but I can't dwell on it too much - that’s footy and these things happen.

"My focus is solely on making sure I'm out on the track for every session and improving week by week, and I'm really looking forward to the year ahead."

Wednesday, 10 May 2017
Sydney coach John Longmire has hailed the character of defender Aliir Aliir despite dropping him for disciplinary reasons last week.

"Aliir is a fantastic character, he's been wonderful for this footy club over the last couple of years and still very good, he just made a mistake," Longmire said.

Sunday, 7 May 2017
Aliir Aliir is dropped for the Swan's clash with the Brisbane Lions for disciplinary reasons.

Aliir, who has spent the past two games in the NEAFL to work on his form and defensive work, failed to attend the Swans' final training session at the SCG on Saturday.

"We had a training session yesterday and it is disappointing that Aliir didn't attend," Swans general manager of football Tom Harley said.

"We can't stand for that as a football club, so he has taken full responsibility for that."

Wednesday, 28 September 2016
The premiership dream of Aliir Aliir ends in heartbreak after the defender was ruled out of the 2016 Grand Final with a right knee injury.

Aliir suffered a low-grade medial strain late in the first quarter of the Swans' preliminary final win over Geelong, and failed to get through the club's most recent training session.

"Aliir has done all he could to give himself a chance to play on Saturday. Unfortunately he was unable to complete training and therefore can’t be considered for selection this week." Sydney Swans football manager Tom Harley said.

"It’s always a tough situation for players facing some uncertainty over their fitness ahead of a game. Aliir is a young man of outstanding character and a bright future and he will be supporting the team on the weekend."

Thursday, 22 September 2016
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has spoken of the remarkable story of Sydney Swans defender Aliir Aliir at a United Nations conference in New York.

Addressing the Leaders Summit on Refugees at a UN General Assembly meeting convened by US president Barack Obama on Thursday, Turnbull pointed to Aliir as a shining example of the success of the Australia's migrant policy.

"For Aliir, his family and 150,000 other men, women and children, Kakuma refugee camp was their home," Turnbull said in his address.

"The camp provided the bare necessities of food and shelter, but sports equipment was unimaginable. Aliir and his friends would use strips of old clothing as a football.

"He was seven when his family came to Australia. Tall, fast and agile, Aliir was a natural for Australian Rules football and once he took up the game hasn't looked back."

Tuesday, 30 August 2016
Tom Barrass will be aiming for payback when he takes on Western Bulldogs forward Tom Boyd in the Eagles' elimination final at Domain Stadium.

Boyd kicked three goals on Barrass within the first 10 minutes of the match when they squared off in an Under-18 National Championship game in 2013.

Luckily for Barrass, Boyd injured his ankle while taking a mark for what could have been his fourth goal, and played no further part in the game.

"He got off to a flyer, and was bombing them from everywhere," Barrass said.

"It was me and (Sydney Swan) Aliir Aliir (playing on him).

"We were trying to convince each other to go on him. I think I got him in the end.

"It's the only time I've played on him, so I might owe him one."

Friday, 8 July 2016
Sudanese Swan Aliir Aliir tells of how he started playing footy after his arrival to Australia.

"I didn't speak any English when I came to Australia and the only way I could connect with other kids was through sport," Aliir said.

"Obviously, I picked up English here at school and through watching TV. The only sport I knew was soccer and I didn't pick up another sport until I was in high school. Some of my mates were having a kick of the footy in the playground and encouraged me to have a kick with them.

"I was used to the round ball and I really didn't know how to hold a football properly. My friend taught me how to kick it and he was the one who asked me if I had thought about playing for a club. I wasn't too sure, but I like to try new things so I gave it a go."

A junior coach's advice to watch games on TV as a way of learning more about the sport increased Aliir's craving for the high ball, even though it temporarily fostered a bad habit.

"The first time I watched a game, Nic Naitanui was playing and he took a massive speccy. That's what really got me on board to want to play AFL," Aliir said.

"I remember going back to training and asking the coach, 'Am I allowed to do this?' And he said, 'Yeah, you can do it as much as you like, so long as you grab the ball.' For a while, all I tried to do was take hangers.

"Understanding the game took a long time. I knew the aim of the game, but I had to learn more about when and where to run and where to go and when to play offence and defence. I'm still developing and learning new things. I feel like I'm just starting out."

Wednesday, 11 May 2016
Aliir Aliir has signs a two-year contract extension with Sydney.

"Aliir's story is unique in so many ways but in a pure football sense, his commitment to the Swans and ours to him reflects his football development," Swans football manager Tom Harley said.

"Aliir thoroughly deserved his AFL debut and has played at an extremely high level in the NEAFL this year.

"We look forward to Aliir playing more senior football for the club in the near future and we are delighted to be able to extend his contract by a further two years."

Wednesday, 4 May 2016
Aliir Aliir believes his most important role, as a multicultural ambassador for the AFL, is to inspire a new wave of kids to take up the game.

Aliir's debut for the Swans against the Brisbane Lions last week created a media buzz around the League, and he told AFL.com.au that he plans to use the interest in his story to promote the game, and help multicultural kids find their pathway to the AFL.

"I just want to get as many multicultural kids out there playing as I can," he said.

"Every now and then I get little kids messaging me on social media asking me what junior clubs they can join and little things like that.

"There's other times where I travel out to Blacktown and talk to the African community out there because I know there's a lot of kids who want to get into footy but they don't know how.

"My job is to chat with them, help them connect with clubs and get them involved.

"Most of these kids are starting a bit later and miss out on programs like Auskick.

"Here in Sydney there's a lot of multicultural kids and it would be great to get them involved and I'll do my part to make that happen.

"It would be great especially to see more Sudanese playing the game."

Sunday, 1 May 2016
Aliir Aliir makes his AFL debut for Sydney at the Gabba with 6 disposals (2 kicks and 4 handballs) and 3 tackles in a 3-point win over Brisbane.
Wednesday, 27 April 2016
Kenyan-born Sydney Swans key defender Aliir Aliir has been picked to make his AFL debut against the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba.

"Particularly over pre-season and games to this point so far he's been terrific winning his one-on-ones and he's a very good kick and a great athlete," Swans coach John Longmire said.

"He's played on a couple of listed AFL players at reserves level and done OK, and certainly at training he's been good at that as well.

"It's really exciting for him, he's put together a great body of work in the reserves, he's played a good 5-6 weeks of absolute quality football now and deserves his opportunity."

Thursday, 21 January 2016
The AFL's Multicultural Program will expand to 18 player ambassadors in 2016 and will also include two female players.

Sabrina Frederick-Traub and Darcy Vescio will be joined in promoting some of the many diverse backgrounds in Australia’s Game by Brisbane Lions Vice Captain Dayne Zorko, Geelong’s Tom Hawkins, Fremantle’s Tendai Mzundu, Gold Coast SUNS players Adam Saad and Tom Nicholls, Sydney Swan Aliir Aliir and Western Bulldogs player Jason Johannisen.

The new additions in 2016 join existing Australia Post AFL Multicultural Player Ambassadors David Zaharakis (Essendon), Stephen Coniglio (GWS GIANTS), Paul Puopolo (Hawthorn), Shem Tatupu (Hawthorn), Alipate Carlile (Port Adelaide), Jimmy Toumpas (Port Adelaide), Bachar Houli (Richmond), Nic Naitanui (West Coast) and Lin Jong (Western Bulldogs).

“The expanded list of 18 ambassadors, representing 13 AFL Clubs and two female Clubs, will play a crucial role in raising cultural understanding, inclusion and participation at all levels of Australian Football,” AFL General Manager Game and Market Development Simon Lethlean said.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015
Aliir Aliir's hopes of becoming second player of Sudanese descent to debut in the AFL remain alive after he recently re-signed with the Sydney Swans for 2016.
Friday, 22 November 2013
Aliir Aliir becomes the first player of Sudanese heritage to be selected at a National Draft after the Swans used pick No.44 on the Kenyan refugee in the 2013 NAB AFL Draft.

"It's a great story, but it's really important for us to stress - we didn't take him because he's a good story," Swans list manager Kinnear Beatson said.

"We took him because we think he's got the potential to turn in to a key defender for us and we need that dramatically on our list.

"I think when you're looking for players you're looking at their attributes and their scope to improve and whether they've got the character and the work ethic to do that.

"And we think Aliir has got those things."

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