Tom Papley is the rival footballer that fans love to hate.
Known as the pantomime villain of the Swans, the 26-year-old couldn’t help but poke fun at the Geelong supporters during Friday’s grand finale parade along the Yarra River.
The Melbourne event was inevitably dominated by Cats fans, and a Geelong supporter brought a banner that quickly caught Papley’s attention.
It showed an image of the Swans midfielder’s controversial brand during the fourth quarter of last week’s tense preliminary final at the SCG, where Papley was accused of a possible push in the back on Collingwood’s Darcy Moore.
Many football connoisseurs believed it should have been a free kick, and the decision proved costly – Papley scored and the Swans won by one point to secure their spot in the AFL Grand Final.
The banner read: “How Sydney Makes Grand Finals.”
Papley took a video of the banner and posted it to his Instagram Story, smiling at the camera in the four-second clip.
Tom Papley enjoys the support of Collingwood fans.
(🎥: tompapley/IG) pic.twitter.com/KrHIB6jwiU
— SuperFooty (AFL) (@superfooty) September 23, 2022
“This is huge for me, playing the grand final in 2016 and not getting the job done, that really hurt,” Papley told reporters on Friday.
“So I’m looking forward to tomorrow and when that siren goes off hopefully we’ll be up front.
“But there will be quite a bit of adrenaline tomorrow and the crowd will be, so I’m looking forward to it.”