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McGlynn sets tackle challenge

SwansTV: Ben McGlynn press-conference Benny McGlynn fronted the media ahead of this weekend's clash with Carlton at the SCG
Ben McGlynn tackles Dylan Shiel at the SCG in round 15
There’s no official award for the player that lays the most tackles, but that hasn’t stopped Ben McGlynn and Luke Parker from going head-to-head.

The Swans midfielders, who were both in impressive form against West Coast last weekend in Perth, have set a challenge to find out who can lay the most tackles this season with Parker (88 tackles) holding a narrow two-tackle lead over McGlynn (86) after 15 matches.

While the pair still has a little way to go before they catch fellow midfielder Josh Kennedy, who leads the club with 101 tackles for the season, McGlynn said he has his sights set on closing the gap on Parker this weekend when the Swans host Carlton at the SCG.

“Tackling is obviously something that I’ve always enjoyed doing,” McGlynn told reporters on Thursday.

“Early in my career I was getting stepped (around) a lot, so I had to learn a lot and practice a lot of tackles.

“So me and Lukey Parker have got a bit of a challenge going at the moment.

“He’s in front of me on the tackle count, so I want to catch him after the weekend.”

McGlynn leads the club in average tackles per game with seven which ranks him fourth overall in the AFL behind Brisbane’s Tom Rockliff, Bulldog Tom Liberatore and GWS’s Jacob Townsend.

Standing at 172 centimetres, which makes him the third shortest player in the competition, McGlynn said pressure acts have always been the basis of how he plays the game.

“I guess they have to be,” he said.

“I’m obviously not going to take the big marks and push blokes out of the way.

“It’s a physical game and that’s what I enjoy about it.”

After playing the majority of his career as a small forward, McGlynn has been shuffled into the Swans’ midfield rotation this season along with the likes of Parker, Craig Bird and young Swans Harry Cunningham and Jake Lloyd.

McGlynn said he was relishing the opportunity to play in the middle this season and had accepted a pre-season challenge from the coaching staff to step up his game.

“At the end of last year I was challenged by the coaches in terms of taking my game to another level,” he said.

“I obviously had a good pre-season to try and push to get into the midfield and I was very lucky that that opportunity arose.

“I’ve been playing in the midfield a little bit more, which is very enjoyable and I’ve also been helping a little bit up forward.

“I’m enjoying being around the footy and being able to provide the pressure and run that I can bring to the side.”

With this week’s opponents coming in to the game on the back of an 85-point domination of St Kilda at Etihad Stadium last weekend, McGlynn said the Swans, who currently sit atop the AFL ladder, will need to be on their game on Saturday night.

“We’re fully focused on Carlton this week,” he said.

“They are coming off the back of a good game and they obviously have a lot of talent in their team.

“If you let them play the way they want to, then they will hurt us.

“We’re pretty focused on getting the game on our terms early and obviously playing the footy that we’ve been playing over the last few months.

“They boys are really looking forward to the challenge.”