Papley raring for second crack at AFL GF

·2-min read

Three years can be a long time in footy, just ask Tom Papley.

At the end of 2019, the Sydney AFL livewire wanted out, requesting a trade to Carlton that got knocked back as the Swans were unsatisfied with the Blues' offerings.

Fast forward three years and Papley is preparing for his second grand final, hoping he can exorcise the demons of going goalless in the 2016 loss to the Western Bulldogs.

"Funny how things change and things happen for a reason," Papley told reporters at Friday's grand final parade, ahead of facing Geelong in Saturday's showpiece.

"This is massive for me, playing the grand final in 2016 and not getting the job done, that really hurt.

"So looking forward to tomorrow and when that siren goes, hopefully we're in front."

The 26-year-old is renowned for his exuberant celebrations and getting in opponents' faces.

"It just comes naturally and instincts and adrenalin take over," he said.

"But there'll be a fair bit of adrenalin tomorrow and the crowd will be up so I look forward to it."

Papley was only 20 when he played in his first decider, the same age as Sydney local Errol Gulden, who makes his grand final debut on Saturday.

An academy product who grew up barracking for the Swans, Gulden's 43rd AFL game is his most important yet.

"It's very exciting. I grew up in Sydney and came down to a few parades to cheer on the Swans when they were playing in grand finals in 2012 and stuff like that," Gulden told reporters.

"So to be playing, it's pretty amazing.

"It's a dream come true to go through the academy and to be playing for the Swans.

"There's a few of us in the team out of the academy."

Gulden was confident the Swans' young heads would be able to handle the occasion.

"At the end of the day, it's just another game of footy and we've got a lot of experienced heads around the club, so (we're) probably just tapping into them this week and getting advice," he said.

"But I'm pretty confident with the boys that we have, we won't get overawed at all."