SYDNEY Swans star Luke Parker speaks with such affection of his time at Langwarrin footy club, you get the feeling he’d love to pull on a Kangaroos jumper this year.
That, of course, won’t be happening — but Parker will still have a key role in Langy’s 2018 campaign.
He’ll be the club’s number one ticket holder, and is humbled to be given the honour.
“Basically my whole childhood was spent there at Lloyd Park,’’ Parker said.
“I’d be there two to three nights a week and have a game on the weekend. I loved my time at Langwarrin and have great friends still from football (there). A lot of fond memories.
“The only bad one was that we got into four grand finals and lost them all. I loved my time at Langy. I had good coaches and a great bunch of kids to grow up with.’’
Parker, whose family still lives in Langwarrin, was welcomed back to the club over the Christmas break and enjoyed putting the Langy colours back on.
“It was good being back,’’ he said. “I can’t get down there too often, so it was nice to be back and nice to see they are keen to get some changes going and build the club back up.’’
Langwarrin president Norm Whiteside said the club was thrilled to have Parker involved in an official capacity.
“Luke Parker is a widely respected person within the local and football community,’’ he said. “Luke is a decorated Langwarrin junior player and is our club’s first AFL premiership player. “We look forward to Luke representing the club as our number one ticket holder across a range of different areas.”
Parker famously won Langwarrin’s best-and-fairest award every year from under nines through to under 16s.
He only played one senior game with Langwarrin, as a 16-year-old, but it was a memorable day. Parker was best-on-ground as Langwarrin stormed home to beat Mornington.
“That was an incredible day,’’ Parker said. “I actually have really fond memories of it. We were down by about 40 points at halftime and came back and won by about 20 or so. It was a great day to be a part of. As a young bloke you look up to the seniors so much and they were a great bunch of guys and really took me in and I had a really good time. Even though I only played one game they made it feel really special for me.’’
Langwarrin is pushing hard to improve in 2018, appointing co-coaches Josh Beard and Blake McCormack.
Parker is looking forward to seeing the club take strides forward.
“Talking to a few of the board members and new senior coaches the main thing for them is to build a winning culture,’’ he said. “That’s what draws people to the football and draws supporters.’’