Dropped Sydney stalwart Ryan O’Keefe is keeping his thoughts to himself but fellow midfielder Luke Parker has backed the 283-gamer to rebound strongly.
A dual premiership player, 2009 club champion and 2012 Norm Smith Medal winner, O’Keefe was a shock omission for last weekend’s season-opener.
The 33-year-old midfielder only got a late reprieve when co-captain Kieren Jack withdrew on match day against GWS, playing as a substitute as the youthful Giants pulled off a huge upset victory.
Renowned for his dedication to training and work ethic, O’Keefe churned out the laps of Lakeside Oval on his own after his teammates finished training on Wednesday.
He declined a request to talk to the media, but 21-year-old Parker tipped O’Keefe to bounce back.
“I’m sure he’ll be back this season and play really good footy for us,” said Parker, who gathered a team-leading 23 possessions in the upset loss to the Giants.
“It’s up to the coaches to pick the team. But it shows how much depth we do have.
“We’ve got Tommy Mitchell and Harry Cunningham coming through, so I wouldn’t want to be in the coaches’ room picking the team.”
One of the younger members of the Swans side, Parker put his hand up to take on more of a leadership role, especially when the tide turns against the Swans, as it did last weekend.
“I want to be able to stand up in big games and not wait for someone else to stand up, and take control myself,” Parker said.
Parker said his preference would have been to play this weekend and turn things around quickly rather than have the week off dictated by the split round.
“But having the two weeks off, we freshen up, get our mindset right,” he said.
Parker stressed the Swans had reacted with characteristic candour after viewing footage of their performance in the loss to the Giants.
“That’s the best way of us improving,” Parker said.
Sydney expect to have Jack and tall utility Lewis Roberts-Thomson (groin) available for their next game against Collingwood, another first-week loser.
“It is going to be pretty desperate for both teams, we don’t want to go 0-2,” Parker said.