Swans' Parker ready to step up again - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Swans' Parker ready to step up again

Rob Forsaith 16/07/2011 05:02:56 PM Comments (0)

Sydney midfielder Luke Parker will once again be asked to fill the void left by 271-game veteran Jude Bolton when he plays just his sixth AFL match on Sunday.

Parker was told just 20 minutes before the Swans' last-start win over Gold Coast that he would be replacing late scratching Bolton.

Instead of giving him limited game time, the club backed the 18-year-old to play a major role and he delivered, grabbing 26 possessions and two goals.

With the Swans taking a cautious approach to Bolton's knee injury, last year's No.40 pick in the draft will once again be in the thick of things when the Swans meet Fremantle at the SCG.

"With Jude missing the last two weeks (it's been great) to be able to have a Luke Parker coming in - very much like-for-like type players," coach John Longmire said.

"One of the reasons that we looked at Josh Kennedy when Brett Kirk was getting towards the end of his career was that we knew at some point he'd be able to come in and fill that role.

"Certainly we expect Jude to play a fair bit more footy for us, he's played really well this year.

"But to have a Luke Parker sitting in the wings, who's been able to play a similar type of game, a really hard contested game but also a bit of finish about him, is exciting for the footy club."

It's exciting for Parker too, who is still coming to terms with the Bolton and Kirk comparisons.

"It is a really good thing to hear really, when you see those two legends of the club - who they're comparing you to," Parker told AAP.

"I speak to Jude a lot and he's a really good one to look up to at the moment.

"The way he just goes about things and leads out on the field and off the field really, it kind of inspires you.

"After that game (against the Suns) I got a little bit of attention but you have to move on from that."

For Parker that means a test against a Dockers midfield that is set to be boosted by the return of Adam McPhee and Michael Barlow, whohave both overcome injuries.

McPhee (knee) and Barlow (leg soreness) both trained at the SCG on Saturday.

"They are both in our best 22, so it's good to have them both back in," said Dockers assistant coach Barry Mitchell.

"They add a bit of depth in the midfield. We've probably been a little bit light there for a little while, so it's good to have two guys that can come and help us."

Mitchell agreed with Longmire that Adam Goodes and Matthew Pavlich, two of the AFL's best players, will play on each other at some point.

Regardless of the result this weekend, big things are expected of Parker, who is the latest in a long list of Sydney on-ballers who boast plenty of in-and-under grunt.

"Growing up I used to like the hard, in-and-under players ... I've always wanted to go in hard. I like to win the one-on-one contests but I'd like to still develop my outside game a bit more," he said.

"By next year (I'd like) to secure a spot in the senior team. I want to be a consistent player in the senior team."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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