There was a time when AFL games record-holder Brent Harvey thought comparisons between Lance Franklin and Wayne Carey were premature and misplaced.
That has now passed.
Franklin is on track to finish one of the sport's all-time greats and looms as a unique asset that sets Sydney apart from other premiership contenders, according to Harvey.
Harvey, in the early stages of his 432-game career with North Melbourne, enjoyed a front-row seat for some classic Carey clinics.
The 38-year-old can see similarities between Carey, widely considered one of the greatest ever centre half-forwards, and Franklin.
"You can compare a little bit," Harvey told reporters in Sydney.
"He wasn't as good as Wayne because Wayne did it for such a long period of time ... I was thinking that three or four years ago.
"Clearly Buddy has done that now.
"If he does that for the next two or three years he's going to sit right up there along Wayne Carey as one of the best forwards to have ever played."
Franklin booted 10 goals in the final round of the regular season to pocket a fourth Coleman medal - an achievement no man has managed since Tony Lockett.
The superstar, who sits 10th on the list of all-time VFL/AFL goals with 856, also earned a seventh All-Australian selection.
Harvey believes no forward in the competition can rival Franklin in terms of the belief his skill creates among teammates.
"His confidence will be high and the boys' confidence will be high - just kick it to him and he'll get the job done," he said.
"With Wayne, you'd look up there and know if you can get the ball in there enough times he'll kick a winning score.
"There's not too many other teams in finals that have got that ... knowing that when it hits the fan you can just bomb it in long to Buddy.
"He's a freak .. he can do it all."
Harvey, who is serving as premiership cup ambassador, said the Swans were the best team in the competition.
"Unfortunately for Sydney the grand final isn't this week," he said, praising former teammate John Longmire for helping resurrect their season after a 0-6 start.
"But I'm a firm believer their good form can continue ... four wins and they win the premiership."