A CLOSE bond with star forward Lance Franklin is helping Logan McDonald thrive at Sydney.
McDonald, who has kicked 22 goals from his 11 games this year was selected by the Swans with pick No.4 in the 2020 draft, hailing from Franklin's Western Australia.
"Bud, he's helped me so much," McDonald told AFL.com.au.
"Even on the weekend he just watched me and my game and came down in the breaks and helped me, told me what he thought.
"He's been so good for me as a mentor, and I just love playing with him and training with him, and it's going to be awesome to run back out with him tomorrow."
It's a bond that a kid could only dream of, but Franklin's warmth right off the bat helped McDonald settle at the club.
"I think he's always going to have that aura regardless… but right from the get-go he was so welcoming and helpful to me and I'm so grateful to him," McDonald said of Franklin.
After missing a month of footy this year due to an ankle injury, McDonald has been back for a fortnight, bolstering the Swans' attack and showing off his work rate up the field.
"It's one of my strengths and a bit unique in my game, being a tall and being able to do that. I think that's something I have at the front of my mind every time I play," McDonald said.
"I'm working on that contest stuff and being that traditional key forward, so as long as I can bring my contest and my effort, that's all the team asks of me."
In a side whose poor conversion has been brought to the fore in recent weeks, McDonald's reliability in front of goal has been important, kicking at 73.3 per cent this season. Even more crucial, however, is his hand in setting up opportunities for teammates.
McDonald is averaging 4.6 score involvements this season, to go along with his two goals and 2.2 inside 50s per game, becoming a vital connector in the Swans' attack.
Continuity in forward set up is something the young key points to when discussing his own development.
"Hayden (McLean), 'Paps' (Tom Papley), Isaac (Heeney) and Will (Hayward), we're starting to play a few games together now and we can form that bond. We had 20 marks inside 50 on the weekend because we're starting to build that connection.
"The more games we play together the better we're going to be for it," McDonald said.
Now, McDonald has his sights set on Richmond at the MCG on Thursday night, which could be Franklin's final game at the MCG.
"It's always an awesome game and to get the prime-time Thursday night at the 'G, there's nothing better and it's a really good opportunity for us to get our season back on track."