Sydney star Tom Papley has credited coach John Longmire as a major factor in his decision to stick with the Swans into 2021.
After his unsuccessful bid to be traded to Carlton at the end of last year, Papley was again being targeted by the Blues and fellow Victorian clubs for a possible move during this year's trade period.
But the 24-year-old has decided not to pursue a trade and will stick with the Swans, where he is contracted until the end of 2023.
The brilliant small forward said some personal factors had eased in the past 12 months and that Longmire's influence was an important part of the call.
"I love the boys and the club, and it's the same last year, but I had a bit of family stuff going on last year. I felt for me the best thing was to try to go back home and be there to support and help what the family was going through and that didn't happen," Papley told AFL.com.au.
"This year my family's fixed it up and they're all going well which helps. You want to always help your family and I've been away for a long time and haven't been able to help, but they've fixed it up and it helps.
"I had my best mate move up which played a massive part as well as the boys at the club… but probably the biggest part was 'Horse' (Longmire).
"The care and the role he's given me, he's just a genuine good man. He's caring, very passionate and invested in where the club wants to go and I love that about him. He was a very big reason for why I stayed."
After intense speculation about his future, Papley, who started the season in scintillating form to charge into AFL All-Australian consideration, informed the club in recent weeks of his plans to not seek a trade.
"Obviously everyone in the media probably thought I was going to leave and [the decision] was always on my mind but I wanted to get it off my mind and I was confident that it was the right decision. I was comfortable and happy and I like where we're going as a football club," he said.
"There is a bit of relief and weight off the shoulders. It was getting to that time of the year again and there was a little bit of talk in the media and I'm sure the club would have been talking about it as well.
"When I told Horse he was over the moon and I told the boys. I'm pretty invested in everything I do and I give my all in everything I do and I think I've shown that this year."
Papley spent the COVID-19 shutdown period back in Victoria with family and said that time was valuable for him, while close friend Will Collis also moved up to Sydney to live with him in what has helped him bridge the gap between home and living in New South Wales.
The livewire goalkicker booted 21 goals in his first 10 games of this season and looms as a likely high finisher in the Swans' best and fairest as one of their main matchwinners.
He said he didn't look closely at the Blues or any other club having settled at the Swans, where he is contracted for a further two years beyond next season.
"It's just playing it year by year and if I am struggling then talking to someone, whether it's to my mates or to Horse or to the psychologist, just keep working through whatever's going on," he said.
"I just love playing footy and that's what I want to do and hopefully we can go deep into next year."
In the absence of Lance Franklin throughout 2020, Papley has taken on a leadership role within the Swans' forward line.
Papley, whose younger brother Will is vying to be picked up at this year’s NAB AFL Draft, will finish the season on 99 games for the Swans, where both his grandfathers – Max Papley and Jeff Bray – played in the 1960s.
"I had it in my mind a little bit and had a little look. It will be great to get my name up there on the locker," he said.
"There's a long way to go – I need to get through a pre-season and one more game to go this year – but I'd be looking forward to playing my 100th in round one next year and hopefully plenty more."