YOU GET the feeling that no player in the competition was more suited to officially christening Optus Stadium than Sydney superstar Lance Franklin, and the champ definitely delivered.
The most electrifying forward of the modern era loves a big occasion and it was no surprise to see the West Australian kick eight goals in the season opener against West Coast in Perth.
Franklin is sure to be the name highlighted on Port Adelaide's whiteboard this week, and with fine conditions predicted, the Power will have a massive task in shutting the Swan down.
Teammate Will Hayward formed a close bond with Franklin in his debut season last year and told AFL.com.au that the athletic forward's ability to impact games is something he still finds extraordinary.
"It's incredible, he lifts the crowd, he gives the team so much momentum, and when the ball is in his hands you just expect something good to happen," he said.
"I still pinch myself sometimes, and even before I got to the club, watching him play you could feel the presence he has.
"He might kick five goals in a game but he's also really selfless.
"His pressure for someone who is almost 200cm tall is really high, so he contributes to every part of the forward line."
Franklin has always been given credit for his on-field feats, but Hayward said his leadership around the club was something that escapes the public's attention.
The 19-year-old kicked 22 goals from 17 game sin 2017 and said the mentoring he received from the Swans' biggest name had a lot to do with his unexpected success.
"Bud is always there for anything I might need and he's really, really approachable," he said.
"He chats with me to settle my nerves and makes me feel comfortable before a game, and just tells me to back myself in and just play footy.
"He's first-class when it comes to helping the young boys, and for the player that he is, he's great to have at the club.
Hayward will have a massive say in Sunday's clash, along with fellow Sydney small forward Tom Papley, with the pair sharing a strong relationship – although it might not show at times.
Papley has jokingly called out Hayward as John Longmire's coach's pet in the past, but the speedster hit back, taking aim at his mate's exuberant goal celebrations.
"I think he carries on like a pork chop," he said with a laugh.
"His celebrations are actually quite ridiculous if you ask me, he runs around like he's playing soccer after he kicks a goal.
"But it's good to watch and he gives us a real lift, he's a cracker and I love playing footy with Paps."