On the Mark is a weekly series diving into what makes our players tick. Stay tuned for all the latest interviews and AFL news.

Harry Cunningham was destined to play AFL. If not for his immense talent but a strong family connection to the game.  

Speaking to Sydney Swans Media for On The Mark – our player profile series – Cunningham had nothing but praise for his father.

“My favourite memory from childhood was probably kicking the footy in the front yard with my brother and old man,” Cunningham said.

When asked who his sports hero was, he didn’t name an international star, but Dad “on and off the field.”

Harry’s father Mark played for North Broken Hill. Naturally, at age four, Harry joined the Turvey Park footy club in Wagga Wagga where he was raised and made his senior debut for the Bulldogs by 15.

Despite his rapid success it wasn’t until the 2011 AFL Draft when he realised the possibility of being a professional athlete.

“I realised I could have a career in AFL the day I got drafted. When it finally happened,” he said.

“It was actually on Dad’s birthday.”

The defender was taken with pick 93 by the Sydney Swans. In 2012 he was elevated from rookie status to the senior list and made his debut against the GWS Giants in Round 1.

It’s not just his dad he credits for his success. “Family, friends and my wife,” are among Cunningham’s biggest supporters.

After 12 seasons in the red and white Cunningham is slated to play his 200th game in season 2024.

Quick Fire Questions with Harry

What's your most controversial opinion?

"It's a potato scallop, not a potato cake."

Who do you credit for your success?

"Family, friends and my wife."

If you weren't playing AFL, what do you think you'd be doing?

"Probably in the teaching or education field."

In your opinion what are your greatest strengths?

"I think I'm a good people person and care for people."


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