Sydney key defender Ted Richards paid tribute to injured duo Gary Rohan and Ben McGlynn at the AFL premiers' SCG celebration on Sunday.
If fit, Rohan and McGlynn would have been part of the Swans' stoic win over Hawthorn on Saturday.
But 21-year-old Rohan broke his leg early in the season, while McGlynn suffered a hamstring injury in week one of the finals and couldn't quite recover in time.
Richards, who was in doubt for the grand final and needed a series of injections to combat an ankle injury, said both players had managed to keep their heads up despite the hard luck.
"It's been three or four months for Gary. As we were getting closer and closer to the grand final, you could see how much it was hurting him not being a part of it," Richards told reporters on Sunday.
"Benny McGlynn had a real rollercoaster of emotion over the past few weeks.
"To their credit, the way they've handled it (grand final week and the celebrations) has been incredible.
"They've been very selfless with their attitude and positivity, even though it must have been hurting them.
"They really wanted to be a part of it, and we wanted those guys to celebrate as much as anyone who played in the game."
Richards noted McGlynn had done just that.
"I don't think Benny's slept," he said on Sunday afternoon.
"I think Benny's celebrating like he won the Norm Smith."
Richards was one of three Swans who played in the club's one-point loss to West Coast in the 2006 grand final but not the 2005 premiership.
"For so many years I wondered (what it feels like). You see them doing the lap of honour and just feel so jealous because you want to be a part of it," the All-Australian backman said.
"Before we did the lap of honour, (assistant coach) Stuey Dew told us 'go as slow as you can'
"I pretty much did that, I just wanted to take it all in it."