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White becomes a Magpie

Get to know Collingwood recruit Jesse White as he speaks to CTV during his first day at the Westpac Centre. Introducing Collingwood recruit Jesse White.
Jesse White has become a Magpie after 71 games with the Sydney Swans.

Collingwood welcomed Jesse White to the Westpac Centre on Monday morning, with the former Sydney Swan officially joining the club as part of a three-club deal that has also seen the Magpies move forward in the first round of the National Draft.

The 25 year-old, who enjoyed a breakout season with the Swans in 2013, is the cornerstone of a trade that will see the Magpies also receive selections 6 and 44 from West Coast in exchange for picks 11, 31 and 49, with 44 traded to Sydney for White.

Collingwood now has a prime position in the draft, with picks 6 and 10 to take to the Gold Coast next month.

Just as White has arrived at Collingwood, it could be said that he arrived as a player this year after seven seasons in Sydney. The glimpses of elite talent and brilliance seen in his earliest years were produced more often in 2013, to the extent that he kicked 20 goals in the ruck/forward position, averaged five marks per game (1.5 contested) and featured throughout Sydney’s finals campaign. In all, White played 15 matches in 2013, for a career tally with the Swans of 71.

With uncommon speed for a player who stands 196cm tall and weighs 107kg, White has been recruited from a strong Sydney program to introduce another element to the mix of options coach Nathan Buckley hopes to have inside the forward 50 arc in 2014.

“Jesse has a combination of speed, power and height,” said Collingwood national recruiting manager, Derek Hine.

“His versatility was also a factor. Jesse has played key forward, third forward, in the ruck and, with his pace, up on a wing. At 25 he has lots of football ahead of him, he is seasoned so he helps us straight away and, in our view, the best of Jesse White is yet to be seen.”

White said the opportunity to play more regularly was at the forefront of his mind when he began to explore his options after playing only three matches with Sydney in 2012.

“A deal with Adelaide became a possibility late last year but when that fell through I decided the best thing I could do was to have the best season possible and make things happen, open up some other doors,” White said.

Jesse White made his first appearance at the Westpac Centre on Monday.

“I just wanted to play, regularly, and then Collingwood came into the picture which coincided with my family moving back to Victoria from the Gold Coast. I grew up in Richmond until I was three, so I’ve sort of come full circle.

“It was exciting to think that Collingwood was an option. They’re a big club that plays on the MCG and is involved in ANZAC Day and so many of the blockbusters.  They’ve been playing finals and seem to have a big group of very good young players coming through. I knew that playing in Melbourne, for Collingwood, was the right mix for me.”

Welcome to Collingwood, Jesse.