Select policy pays off for Swans By Peter Fitzsimons October 1, 2005 It is the way of sport that victory begets mimicry. Successful teams may count on the fact that their methodologies will be examined from every angle to determine precisely what it is that they have done that has propelled them to the top of the podium. Good! Let's look closely at the way the Swannies did it, and then let a thousand flowers bloom …! A fascinating article by Richard Hinds last week - and I can't tell you how much it pains me to say that - revealed the breakthrough the Swans have made in their innovative recruiting policy. It's roughly called the "No dickheads" policy. As enunciated by recruiting manager Rick Barham: "You won't find a dickhead on our list. I won't name the names but we've been laughed at sometimes for overlooking kids because they didn't have the qualities we wanted. A few years later, the same blokes are making headlines for the wrong sort of things. They're underperforming or getting traded. Sometimes they are even getting offered to us." Bravo. In America they call this kind of stuff "character assessments" and the reckoning is that before signing anyone on they have a real look at what kind of person they are - irrespective of their speed, skill, record, etc - and don't sign anyone that won't be proud to fill their jersey and make supporters proud of those who fill their jersey in turn. It means a selfless team culture can grow whereby even a team like the Swans - with only one major star in Barry Hall - can still turn out to be the best in the business.