The Sydney Swans as a whole organisation command respect. Year after year, they continually find a way to be a competitive unit and this year is absolutely no exception.
The Swans have come from very humble beginnings, a club that was in the south of Melbourne, sent to a rugby state to blaze a path for those who love the Australian game.
It took them a while to gain a foothold in the New South Wales market but slowly the supporters came and slowly they became a club with their own unique identity.
Now, 30-odd years down the beaten path since that move, the Swans have arguably the strongest club culture in the AFL.
How, you may ask, since they are not the reigning premiers and haven't been seen in the big dance since 2006 when they were defeated by the Eagles by one point (the previous year they won the premiership against the same team)?
The fact that they never seem to have a bottoming-out year like so many clubs do suggests that the fabric is very thick and the culture is right where it should be.
Can you remember when they were on the bottom of the ladder and a basket case? You would have to take a few moments if you knew to recall the year. It certainly has been a while and as a player who spent my tenure in the system at a club that regularly has bottoming out years I look at the red and the white and marvel.
Creating a culture of success is difficult but first and foremost it relies on obtaining the right people. Quality people with a strong will who know what they want and are ruthless in their approach to achieve whatever it is they desire. They fight when times are tough and they are just the same when they are on top.
I believe recruiters need to be given either more credit or held more accountable for this very fact. It is their job to bring in these 'right' people, a tough job but extremely important all the same.
Management comes next. It's no secret that those who run the club have a huge amount of input into results. They are the people who decide on the personnel brought in and the coaches decide who gets a game.
When a coach plays young kids and those who don't necessarily deserve a game purely to prepare for the future and not live in the now, well it sends a message. The message is: we do not think we are any good, we need to find different people and the ones we have aren't up to it.
The club as a whole feels the vibe and those young kids who were gifted these games do not value what they are given. There is a notion that it is all too easy and the prestige is lost.
Take the Sydney Swans and their coaches. They play players only when they deserve a game and not because they are looking to the future.
It matters not to them what year you were born, if you are in form and can make the team better you will be picked. As a player you know you deserve your jumper and you play accordingly. The rest of the team feels confident in their management and that player given a game and, in turn, lift.
It's a cycle of success breeding success and the Swannies have been living it for a long time now. The results are clear and love them or hate them, you have to respect them.
How great it would be to be one of their supporters knowing every year they are a chance to win it, that every year their club is going to play for points, not players, and bottoming out is never an option.
If you don't like their colours, you have to at least love that.
I'm not sure if they will win the premiership this year. Regardless, if the grand final was a competition of year by year consistency they'd be a fair dinkum moral to take it home.
My Round 12 tips are:West Coast