Parker eyes battle with ex-skipper Tom Scully
When Sydney clash with Greater Western Sydney in the stand-alone start to the AFL season, young gun Luke Parker will have a fair idea of what to expect.
WHEN Sydney clash with Greater Western Sydney in the stand-alone start to the AFL season, young gun Luke Parker will have a fair idea of what to expect.
The midfielder boasts more big-game experience than most 19-year-olds, but moreover he’s one of few Swans to have inside knowledge of GWS.
Parker, who was a revelation this year after being selected with pick No.40 in the 2010 draft, played his Under-18 football with the Dandenong Stingrays.
The club has long been a breeding ground of AFL talent, so it’ll be no surprise when the Giants’ youthful team for round one comprises plenty of Parker’s former team-mates.
GWS pre-listed former Stingrays midfielders Dylan Shiel and Adam Treloar and took Matthew Buntine and Nick Haynes in the first round of the 2011 draft, while former No.1 pick Tom Scully is their most prized recruit.
Parker, who played under Scully in 2009, knows just how much of a boon his former skipper will be for the Giants.
“When the team needed a bit of a lift he was the one that got us going,” Parker said.
“He wasn’t always the loudest bloke out there, but just the way he went about it on the field (was impressive).
“He’s definitely a valuable pickup for GWS.”
Parker became Dandenong co-captain in 2010 and led a side that regularly featured Shiel, Treloar and Buntine.
“I played a full year with him (Buntine) when I was top age. He was a really solid backman for us back then.
“I think there’s no doubt they’ll all debut round one, so it’s a very exciting time for them.”
Parker, no stranger to personal success having won the Stingrays’ best and fairest award as a 16-year-old in 2009 ahead of Scully, downplayed the feats he achieved in his maiden AFL season.
The hard-running midfielder, who was nicknamed `man child’ soon after arriving in Sydney due to his mature physique, played in both of his side’s finals and polled a Brownlow vote in his fifth game.
Parker said improvement was the goal for 2012.
“It’s looking at our most elite runners and trying to match yourself against them – that’s the thing I’m trying to focus on.” - AAP