Three for Three? Young Bloods dominating the Rising Star nominations

Chad Warner celebrates one of his two goals for the day. Photo: Sydney Swans Twitter

It was draftees Errol Gulden and Braeden Campbell in rounds one and two. Now Chad Warner is the odds on favourite to make the Swans three for three in Rising Star nominations to start the 2021 season.

The young Swans have been a catalyst for their team’s outstanding start as they disposed of the reigning Premiers in emphatic fashion by 45 points on Saturday afternoon to take their record to 3-0.

The drafted trio of Gulden, Campbell, and pick four Logan McDonald have rightly earned plaudits around the competition, but second year players Warner and Wicks have electrified throughout the first three rounds.

Sam Wicks is three months too old to be eligible for the Rising Star award, so it will be Warner who gives selectors an easy decision at the conclusion of round three.

You couldn’t miss him with the bright pink boots and blond hair, but 19-year-old Chad Warner was letting his footy do the talking after playing just the two games in his first season.

He had 20 disposals and two goals in just the fifth game of his career.

A move into the midfield has been inspired with the 2019 number 39 pick bursting away from stoppages and using the ball well going forward. He dominated the contest when the game was on the line with 13 disposals and two goals to the half, before moving forward for patches in the last quarter.

Sydney coach John Longmire was full of praise for the perseverance of him and his young nucleus as a whole.

“It was a very tough year [2020] for those young boys, because they only played a lot of scramble games,” he said.

“What we saw of him [Warner] last year we liked. We thought he plays with real power; he’s hard and plays with power”.

“We were confident that he could continue to be a good player and keep improving which he has done so far”.

That hunger at the contest has held a young Swans group in good stead so far this season.

“He’s a competitor, he loves to compete, and thats been the sign of those blokes, Wicksy [Sam Wicks] and the like”, Longmire said.

“We’ve been confident with our young players coming through. We’ve been confident for a number of years”.

“But you’ve got to turn that confidence into results. You’ve got to still get over that hump.

“It’s not just about showing a bit of confidence and faith and playing these young players; you’ve still got to get on with it and play your best footy when it matters most.”

Longmire also praised the work of his experienced heads and their role in building this young side over the last few years.

“Parker and Kennedy today, and Rampe were outstanding, and that certainly helps those younger players,” he said.

“If everyone does their role, including our captains, it certainly helps our young players.

“We got a lot right today. We’re pleased with that and then we’ll get over it.”

The Swans have the shortest break of their season before round four, taking on the Bombers in five days time on Thursday night.

“It’s about getting back into the work this week. It’s really important. It’s about acknowledging what you do well and moving on,” he said.

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