MEET the Sydney youngster becoming a smokey for the club's early-season plans.
Chad Warner is physical and aggressive – a little too aggressive, at times. But it's that intensity at the contest that has endeared the 181cm draftee to the Swans' players and coaches this summer.
During a recent pre-season training session, Warner was his usual combative self. So much so that Sydney coach John Longmire had to stop proceedings for a quiet word with the midfielder.
"I only told him to calm down a little bit, but that's OK," Longmire laughed.
"I didn't want to calm him down too much because I loved what I saw. I just didn't want him to injure anyone.
"There's pressure and there's mock pressure – and there's a fine line between mock pressure and what he was doing, which was something I had to explain to him."
The conversation was anything but a criticism of Warner's, who has impressed so much throughout his brief stint with the club that he is now being talked about as one of many Sydney youngsters able to have an immediate impact early in the 2020 season.
Taken with pick No.39 in last year's NAB AFL Draft, Warner demonstrated his ability to win his own footy and apply pressure throughout a promising final year of junior footy.
He averaged 27.1 disposals, 7.4 tackles and 6.4 clearances per game in the WAFL Colts with East Fremantle, while he was also an integral member of the West Australian midfield that helped the side claim the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships title last July.
"He looks hard, he looks very hard," Longmire told AFL.com.au.
"He's got a bit of power and that's something (list manager) Kinnear Beatson and (recruiting manager) Simon Dalrymple were really big fans of. I'm looking forward to seeing how he develops his footy, because he's got some great traits."
Warner isn't the only youngster being touted as a potential addition to Sydney's developing midfield group this season, with the club's first pick Dylan Stephens also pressing his claim to be involved in the side's round one team.
Stephens, claimed with the fifth selection in last year's national draft, has been among the standouts throughout the summer for the Swans and has impressed alongside senior teammates Josh Kennedy and Luke Parker out of the centre of the ground.
Having played senior SANFL footy with Norwood last season, Stephens is now among the many developing prospects angling for a position in the team's starting midfield ahead of the club's round one encounter with Adelaide.
"It wouldn't surprise me (to see Stephens play round one)," Longmire said.
"I'm not sure what the team looks like just at the moment, but he's been going very well.
"We're giving him every opportunity, along with our other young midfielders, to come through in that part of the ground and help. We want them to share the load with some of our more experienced players and he's certainly one doing that.
"He came in day one and won the 2km time trial, so he's smacked it. He's got the running attributes with that speed and endurance mix that we really like."
Sydney has embedded a host of young talent into its mix recently, with five players – Nick Blakey, Justin McInerney, James Rowbottom, Hayden McLean and James Bell – making their AFL debuts across last season.
Now, Stephens and Warner will be looking to do similar in 2020 as the Swans' youthful list continues to evolve.
"We've seen it before with our younger group," Longmire said.
"Look at Tom McCartin, he's played 35 games and he's only just turned 20 in December.
"Ollie Florent, Will Hayward, Nick Blakey, James Rowbottom … those blokes have come in and played from day one and they've had big roles for us.
"If they're good enough, they'll play. Now we're hoping that they're good enough, because they're going to make us better.
"We're confident that the next generation will come through and improve our team, which we're looking forward to. I really enjoy seeing that."