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Parker proud after challenging season

Luke McManus  September 21, 2017 2:37 PM

Season review: Parker 2017 player review with Luke Parker.
AFL 2017 Rd 12 - Sydney Swans v Western Bulldogs

Luke Parker is proud of what his side achieved in 2017 despite a disappointing end to the season.

When the final siren sounded on the Sydney Swans' first win of 2017, star midfielder Luke Parker hoped it would be the start of something special.

And it was.

On that sunny Round 7 afternoon at the SCG, Sydney defeated Brisbane by 54 points, a result warmly welcomed and today fondly remembered by Parker following six long weeks at the office.

Sitting 0-6, the Club was desperately trying to rebound from its worst start to a season for 24 years.

Some still held out hope coach John Longmire and his charges could turn their fortunes around. Besides, they'd played off in a Grand Final less than six months earlier and they still possessed quality personnel to challenge.

While many believed the season was gone, Parker knew brighter things were on the horizon. It was a matter of when, not if, for the vice-captain.

That day back in early May, when Lance Franklin (eight goals) led the charge, would begin a run of 16 wins from 18 matches to lift the Swans from the bottom of the ladder to a sixth-place finish by the end of the regular season.

"I'm proud of the boys for the way we went about the season," Parker added.

"To be challenged early and (having) never been in that position before, starting the way we did, shows the character of this group.

"To be a part of that and each week basically playing an elimination final was testing for the whole season, but the mindset of the group was incredible and showed just how much this club means to everyone."

Individually it was another consistent season from Parker.

One of six players to play every game of 2017, Parker averaged 25 disposals over his 24 matches of which more than half were usually contested.

The first-year vice-captain tallied 30+ disposals on four occasions, including in the win over Brisbane, to be one of the keys to the Swans’ revival.

“I thought my season was pretty consistent in the end … started off a bit slow, like we all did,” Parker conceded.

“For me, (it was) another year building, another year of experience, another year of being a leader and trying to drive this group.

“I’ve enjoyed this year. Sad it's over and that it’s come to an end, but looking forward to the break and getting back into it for next year.”