It wasn’t long ago that a young Luke Parker was on his rapid way to joining the AFL’s elite in Sydney Swans colours – and the recently appointed co-captain now has full faith an emerging duo are set for a meteoric rise of their own.

Parker signed with Sydney via the 2010 AFL Draft and was soon after up in lights, with the 174-game Swan hoisting the 2012 premiership cup, claiming the club’s 2014 Players’ Player honour and collecting a 2016 All Australian blazer.

Tom Papley and Oliver Florent have in recent years joined Parker as mainstays of Sydney’s top-flight team, which on Friday night will butt heads with the Adelaide Crows in the Swans’ opening SCG clash of the season.

And Parker says Papley and Florent are two young Swans he expects to play significant roles in the club’s future.

“Oliver Florent is a big one. At such a young age he is showing so much poise and class,” Parker told Melbourne radio station SEN. 

“And Tom Papley is another one. He’s been here for three seasons now, but this is the first time he’s completed a full pre-season. Every other year he’s started a bit later and had to play catch-up during the year.

“To have Oliver and Tom looking to go to another level this year is exciting for me and exciting for the club.”

The meteoric journeys of QBE Sydney Swans Academy pair Isaac Heeney and Callum Mills have drawn plenty of attention.

Heeney took out Sydney’s 2015 Rising Star award in his first season as an AFL-listed Swan before Mills followed suit in 2016.

They’ve both also developed into bright prospects of Sydney’s evolving midfield unit, with Heeney making a move from the forward line and Mills defence. 

Papley and Florent have followed Heeney’s lead in both transitioning from the forward line, which saw them combine forces with Lance Franklin inside 50, to the centre bounce.

Heeney and Mills spent plenty of minutes alongside Parker at the stoppages in Saturday’s season-opening clash with the Western Bulldogs, and the star power of the young Swans is not lost on him.

But he says Sydney's depth of budding young talent extends far beyond Heeney and Mills.  

“There’s a lot more that goes into the future of the Swans than those two. They’re great players and are going to be a big part of the future of the club, but at the same time there are a number of kids who are taking the next step,” Parker said.

“I guess it’s the responsibility of the older heads to ensure the education is there, we’re getting them up to scratch and we’re getting ready as quickly as we can.”