Retiring small forward Ben McGlynn sits down with to reflect on his 174 game AFL career after announcing his retirement on Thursday.

When you look back at your career, what are you most proud of?
It’s just been an absolute privilege to play for two well-respected football clubs, so I feel very fortunate. The past seven years here at the Swans has been a great highlight of my life and there are so many memories I will cherish forever.

Who has inspired you along the way?
I’ve played with a lot of champions of the game and exciting emerging players, however it’s my family who are my biggest inspiration. The support they’ve given me, not just the past 11 years but ever since I left home as a 16-year-old to pursue AFL, it’s something that always inspires me.

What is it that you love about AFL football?
I’ve always loved playing football – growing up with my brothers, it was a regular pastime. What I’ve loved the most is the mates and the friendships you build over the journey – it’s something I will hold dear to me throughout my life. I’m especially going to miss running out and competing each weekend because that’s what I’ve always loved doing.

When people talk about Ben McGlynn the footballer, what do you hope they would say?
I hope they would say he’s someone who has given everything that he’s got to get the best out of himself, and someone who has overcome a lot of adversity and still has a positive influence on the people around him.

Where to from here?
I’ve still got a lot of passion for the game and would love to stay involved in the industry. I get a lot of joy from helping others by sharing my experiences so I’m hoping I get to do that in some capacity. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to spending some time with my family.

Is there anyone you wanted to thank?
I’d like to thank the Sydney Swans for the opportunity to pursue my dream, and the Hawthorn Football Club for the start of my career. I’d like to thank all the coaches, players and staff at the Swans for everything they have done for me during my time here. And I would like to thank my family and my wife for the support they have given me – I wouldn’t have been able to do what I have done without their support.