Stung Parker vows tougher Swans

The Swans's elite leaders have been stung by recent criticism over their lack of support for Callum Mills when he was targeted by Carlton players, and have vowed to never let it happen again.

Last year's NAB AFL Rising Star winner was verbally and physically targeted by the Blues on the MCG, while Kennedy admitted that he wasn't aware of the treatment off the ball, the Swans, in particular Luke Parker and Dan Hannebery, were heavily scrutinised for letting it happen.

Parker said the Swans leaders let Mills down and it wasn't acceptable.

"That shouldn't happen to a second-year player who has played less than 50 games and we were disappointed with it, but we'll make sure that it never happens again," he said.

"We need to make sure, especially with a young bloke like that, that he's taken care of.

"You don't want to be stupid about it and give away free kicks, but we as a team need to stamp our authority and say that’s not on, and we're not going to accept that.

"There's obviously a fine line that we can’t cross to do things outside the laws of the game, but what stands up for us is the way we attack the ball, the way we attack the man when we tackle, and having that real physical edge about us.

"It's not always about buying into the little niggles that go on, it's about making teams aware that we won't put up with it, and the next contest we'll go twice as hard."

Parker echoed the sentiments of coach John Longmire, who on Wednesday said the last-quarter incident was indicative of the way the Swans are going about their footy this year, and one of the reasons they're at the bottom of the ladder.

"We're playing well in patches, and we're helping each other out in patches, then at other times we're forgetting about our teammates a little bit," Parker said.

"At times if you're low on confidence you probably go back into your shell and it's nearly impossible to stop that, but it's the worst thing you can do," he said.

"In my case I wasn't in my best form at the start of the season and I guess you look at what you need to do (to find form), but we need to remember that we're all in this together, we need everyone on board, and we need to get better together.

"It's the most disappointing start to a season I've had since coming to the club, but the boys are up for the fight and know what we have to do to get our season back on track."

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Justin Mitchell

Justin is a passionate AFL and Sydney Swans supporter, and football blogger since 2016. All articles are of his own opinion. You can reach him by twitter and Facebook at @theswansblog

Melbourne, Australia http://theswansblog.com

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