SYDNEY'S Tom Papley is one of the great celebrators in the game whether going over the top when he slots a goal or getting around other Swans that kick one.
But the small forward is set to also put his energies into preparing his younger teammates for finals.
Papley has had his fair share of goals to celebrate this season with multiple rebel Goal of the Year nominations among his 34 majors and as part of the third-highest scoring team in the League.
The passionate celebrations have come out even when matches are played in front of limited or even no crowds, a sure sign that they’re a natural reaction and about more than just looking for a lift from Swans supporters.
"It's a bit about giving the team some energy but it's mostly just me getting involved in the game," Papley told AFL.com.au.
"Whatever comes out, comes out. I don't really think about it at all. But a few of the other boys are getting good at giving some energy in the forward line, too."
Papley nominates Will Hayward and Errol Gulden as a couple of Swans who could take his title for enthusiastic goal celebration antics.
The 25-year-old Papley leaves his teammates to come up with their own celebrations but as part of the leadership group and a fellow forward he has worked closely with Gulden since he joined the club in last year’s NAB AFL Draft.
Gulden has kicked 10 goals and provided 15 goal assists in 14 matches, and looks set to play finals in his first season in the League just as Papley did in 2016 when he kicked 29 goals in 20 matches.
Papley played four finals in his debut season including the Toyota AFL Grand Final that the Swans lost to the Western Bulldogs, then went on to play three more post-season matches in 2017-18.
But like the rest of the Swans, the 177cm forward hasn’t featured in any finals since then.
"I played finals straight away and when you're younger you probably take it for granted, then when it’s taken away you realise how hard it is to get back there," Papley said.
"Everyone wants to play finals, that's what you play footy for, so I'm really looking forward to it. When it gets closer to finals we'll start talking about that, the heat of the finals, the pressure.
"We want to be hitting our straps at the right time of year and want to be playing well coming into finals. I'm just looking forward to the next month or so."
As well as supporting his younger teammates at the club Papley has been on the campaign trail on social media, talking up the performances of NAB AFL Rising Star nominee Justin McInerney.
Not sure why his name isn’t being spoke about regarding the rising star? No one must of known? Now it’s known has to be talked about! Have to be favourite doesn’t he? @RalphyHeraldSun #afl #AFL360 https://t.co/FSCteM7bkw— Tom Papley (@TomPapley) July 5, 2021
McInerney plays with speed, passion and energy that it is easy to see Papley appreciating, and he is averaging 18 disposals at an elite 80 per cent efficiency in a breakout season.
The 20-year-old started the season mostly lining up on the wing but has spent time at half-back since the bye and was thrown into the midfield last week when he attended 21 centre bounces.
"He's pretty consistent for a young player and he's been really good all year," Papley said.
"He's very energetic, he's always up and about, and he’s not afraid to make a mistake because he's always just having a crack which we love.
"But the big thing has been his consistency. Ever since he's got fully fit he’s shown he should definitely be right up there in the votes for the Rising Star award."