THE ENTHUSIASM of youth has helped fire Sydney to an electrifying 2-0 start, but it isn't just the recent draftees leading the charge – the combative Chad Warner has been a crucial, if unexpected, addition to the Swans' midfield.
Warner arrived at the Swans with a reputation for being clean with his hands and hard at the ball. He even had to be asked to tone down his aggression in training during his first pre-season.
But the 19-year-old is now focusing his physicality on his opponents, and becoming known for his ferocious attack on the ball as much as for his dyed blonde locks.
After debuting last season with a couple of games mostly spent across half-forward, Warner is now being trusted in his preferred inside midfield role.
The No.39 pick in the 2019 NAB AFL Draft is having an impact too, averaging 20 possessions a game with close to half of them contested.
He's also spending time on a wing, picking up touches away from stoppages and, perhaps most importantly, regularly sending the ball inside 50. His seven inside 50s per match is the equal sixth-most in the league.
"Since I've got to the Swans they've really pushed me to try to play on the outside more," Warner told AFL.com.au.
"The big thing was getting my higher speed running up, and understanding all the wing running patterns. I worked a lot on my sprint numbers in the pre-season too."
One of Warner's kicks inside 50 in the 33-point victory over Adelaide was his sweetest so far.
"It was weird, all of the defenders parted and this big hole was created for me, so I thought I'd just run through it," Warner said.
"I was just going to put it in the goalsquare, and then at the last second I thought, 'I may as well have a shot here'.
"It came off the boot and it was pretty much dead straight, then I just heard the crowd go off and I realised it was going in."
John Longmire made special mention of Warner after his 20 touches and two goals against Adelaide, which earned the midfielder a couple of coaches' votes for the first time in his short career.
"He gives us some power. He goes from inside to outside, he gets across the ground really well, he loves to compete," the Sydney coach said.
"We just knew we could put him in and give him a crack, and he'd be all right. He's been that."
Warner's fellow teenagers Logan McDonald, Braeden Campbell and Errol Gulden have grabbed the lion's share of the headlines to date, with the latter pair claiming the first two NAB AFL Rising Star nominations of the season.
However, the second-year West Australian says his bleached locks aren't a bid to stand out from the crowd.
"It has always been brown. But my mum is a hairdresser, and one day she wanted to see what the foils looked like in my hair," Warner said with a laugh.
"She had a little experiment, I didn't mind. I always trust her in the hair department.
"She was here on the weekend, so Dylan Stephens wanted to dye his too but it didn't quite happen."
With more performances like the one against the Crows, it won't be long before Warner can sit back and let his football do all the talking.