Former Sydney Swans co-captain Kieren Jack will bid farewell to football after 14 seasons in red and white.
Born and bred in Sydney, Jack only started playing the game as an 11-year-old when he was invited to represent his school in the Paul Kelly Cup.
The Swans noticed Jack’s potential, signing him as a rookie in 2005.
After just two games in his first two seasons on Sydney’s list, Jack’s rise was profound.
He played 246 games over the following 11 seasons and emerged to become one of the competition’s elite midfielders.
In that time, he claimed the Sydney Swans Club Champion Award, All Australian honours, represented his country in the International Rules series and kicked two memorable goals in the team’s thrilling 2012 Grand Final victory.
In 2013, Jack was appointed co-captain of the Swans alongside fellow Pennant Hills junior Jarrad McVeigh, leading the team to another two Grand Final appearances in 2014 and 2016.
In Round 5 this year, Jack became just the ninth Swan to play 250 games.
Swans coach John Longmire said Jack left his mark at Sydney.
“Kieren Jack’s story as a trailblazer for the code in this state cannot be underestimated. It would be reasonable to say that Kieren’s journey has done as much for the code’s development over the past 14 years as any person,” Longmire said.
“He leaves the game in rare company with his achievements and highly respected inside and outside the code – but few people who witnessed Kieren Jack’s early games of Australian Rules Football would have predicted the magnificent career that was to follow. Standing 176cm, weighing 72kg and possessing a kick that didn’t travel far, the kid wearing jumper number 48 in the back pocket of the reserves had a few doubters when he first turned up at the end of 2005.
“However, what couldn’t immediately be seen was the incredible determination within, and the amazing mix of speed and endurance qualities just under the surface. Kieren’s thirst for hard work was insatiable. He soaked up every bit of help from those who were invested, and turned himself into one of the most elite two-way runners of his generation. A fierce competitor, he took on the best players the game had to offer, and in the process made himself one of the game’s best.
“In recent years, Kieren has passed on his knowledge and invested heavily in our younger players – his legacy at this club will be long lasting.”
Kieren Jack’s career highlights
DOB: June 28, 1987
Draft history: Pick 58, 2006 Rookie Draft
Recruited from: NSW/ACT RAMS/Pennant Hills Demons
AFL debut: Round 6, 2007 v North Melbourne
Player no. 1340 to appear for South Melbourne/Sydney Swans
First goal: Round 2, 2008 v Port Adelaide
Swans Rising Star Award (2008)
Bob Skilton Medal (2010)
International Rules side (2010, 2014)
AFL premiership (2012)
Sydney Swans co-captain (2013-2016)
All Australian (2013)
AFL games: 255
AFL goals: 165
Brownlow votes: 61