Sydney’s rapid raise is one of the stories of the early part of the season.
Having won their first three games of the year, including a shock 45-point win over reigning premiers Richmond, attention is quickly turning to whether the young Swans could play finals in 2021.
As part of a culture-building exercise in recent days, round three Rising Star award winner Chad Warner revealed that coach John Longmire recently asked all the club’s first and second-year players to reach out to a former great of the club who wore their number in the past.
Brownlow Medallist Gerard Healy, who wore the number three during his distinguished career at the Swans, said he received a message from top draft pick Dylan Stephens, who now wears the same number.
“I received a text message from Dylan (Stephens) at 5:09pm on Sunday,” Healy said on Sportsday.
“I’m about to go in and (commentate) a game of football, but I get the message (and it said): ‘Hi Gerard, it’s Dylan Stephens here from the Swans. As a one-to-two-year player we’ve been assigned to get in contact with a former player who’s worn the same number and I was wondering if it would be alright to have a quick chat’.
“Then I replied: ‘I’m on TV soon but would like to chat and answer any questions, we spoke after the draft and we can pick it up there.’”
Healy then revealed Stephens didn’t follow up on their conversation later in the week but after Sportsday’s chat with Warner, he was informed and promptly reached out to Gerard before the end of the show.
Warner contacted Sydney premiership captain Barry Hall, who wore the number one in his time at the Swans between 2002 and 2009.
The teenager admitted that he was nervous calling the imposing former forward, but said it was an “really nice” conversation to have.
“I honestly was a bit nervous, he is a great guy though,” Warner said.
“I didn’t have too many exciting questions as it was mainly about the 'Bloods Culture'.
“Probably the most interesting (answer) was about his time at the Bulldogs, but he was really nice and had heaps to say about the premiership (he won at Sydney in 2005).”
Warner was handed this week’s Rising Star after his 20-disposal and two-goal game against Richmond on Saturday.