Swallow starred at junior level, captaining the Under 16 Western Australia team to premiership glory in 2004. However he was surprisingly overlooked entirely in that year’s National Draft.
A clearance and tackling machine, Swallow played for East Fremantle in the WAFL in 2005. He also captained the West Australian Under 18’s, receiving All Australian honours.
Predicted to be a relatively high draft pick, Swallow again was overlooked until pick 43, when North Melbourne gladly selected the player who would turn out to be a future captain.