After a career spanning 11 seasons and 171 AFL games, Sydney Swans forward Ben McGlynn has announced his retirement.
The 31-year-old made the tough call to hang up the boots this week, telling teammates of his decision ahead of Sydney’s Club Champion Dinner on Thursday night.
Although he is retiring as a player, McGlynn is keen to pursue other opportunities within the AFL.
McGlynn burst on to the scene in Round 10, 2006 making his debut for Hawthorn against the Western Bulldogs and kicking a goal in his first senior appearance. Following 44 games for the Hawks, McGlynn was traded to Sydney, joining the Swans for the 2010 season alongside great mate Josh Kennedy.
The crafty small forward made his Swans debut in Round 1 that year, playing another 13 games for the season. He went on to play 127 games in total for the Swans, which also featured two Grand Final appearances.
Arguably McGlynn’s best season was in 2014, when the damaging goal-kicker was deservedly promoted to Sydney’s leadership group. McGlynn’s leadership saw him play an active role in the development of the game in NSW, working closely with the QBE Sydney Swans Academy while completing the Level 2 Coaching Course.
McGlynn said he feels fortunate to have had the opportunity to play for two well-respected football clubs.
“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. But there’s no doubt my family has been my biggest inspiration along the journey and I wouldn’t have been able to do what I have done without their support,” McGlynn said.
“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.
“I’m especially going to miss running out and competing each weekend because that’s what I’ve always loved doing, but I’ve still got a lot of passion for the game and would love to stay involved in the industry.”
Swans coach John Longmire has described McGlynn as a pressure player with great leadership.
“Despite his relatively short stature, Ben had a big influence on the team both on and off the field,” Longmire said.
“The way he played his football gave the team real energy. He was hard; he was committed; he really valued the things we value as a team and he did them really well.
“When Ben McGlynn was firing the team was a much better team, because he was able to make those around him better.”
Ben McGlynn stats
Draft history: Pick 55, 2006 Rookie Draft (by Hawthorn)
AFL Debut: Round 10, 2006 v Western Bulldogs
Swans Debut: Round 1, 2010 v St Kilda
AFL Games: 171
AFL Goals: 195
Swans Most Improved 2014