Greater Western Sydney ruckman Shane Mumford doubles as both battering ram and barometer at the AFL club.
Pleasingly for the Giants, Mumford seems to save his best performances for former side Sydney.
Mumford left the Swans following the 2013 season, having been squeezed out of the club to accommodate the arrival of superstar signing Lance Franklin.
The former boilermaker made an immediate impact at his new club, earning the three Brownlow votes in GWS’s season-opening win over the Swans in 2014.
In round five of this year, Mumford helped himself to 62 hitouts in the Sydney derby and was awarded the Brett Kirk medal as best on ground in GWS’s 42-point win.
“Hopefully he can replicate that for us,” GWS midfielder Dylan Shiel said ahead of Saturday’s Sydney derby at Spotless Stadium.
“The way he attacks the ball and attacks the man is as good as I’ve ever seen.
“Shane has a massive influence on our football club and in particular our midfield.
“When he’s up and going, everyone knows that he’s crashing packs.”
Few players in the league carry such a reputation for dishing out pain but the 31-year-old is also among the competition’s most skilled ruckmen.
Shiel noted Mumford and the Giants’ midfielders will need to lift for what shapes as a crucial battle with the Swans’ in-form engine room.
“They’ve definitely hit some really good form and they’re just competing really hard. They’ve got some really good midfielders,” he said.
“Contested footy is a really big strength of the Swans and over the last couple of months, they’ve been No.1 at it.
“We (GWS’s midfield) have been going OK, probably similar to the whole team, we’ve been inconsistent.”
The 13th derby shapes as arguably the most high-stakes clash between Sydney’s two clubs, with the exception of last year’s qualifying final at ANZ Stadium.
The Swans sit eighth on the ladder and their finals hopes will take a hit if they lose, while the Giants could be dislodged from the top two if they’re defeated.
“If you drop a couple of games you can definitely drop down the ladder fairly quickly. It’s going to be a massive match,” Shiel said.