Dane Swan’s memorable AFL journey


2001: Opts to finish schoolies celebrations on the Gold Coast instead of flying home after he was selected with pick No.58 in the draft.

2002: Unable to break into Collingwood’s AFL team.

2003: Makes AFL debut in round 13 against Western Bulldogs. Later that year is involved in drunken brawl at Federation Square. The Magpies put Swan on notice.

2004: Plays a total of 13 games, showing glimpses of his immense potential but in the back line instead of midfield.

2005: A magistrate tells Swan to “stop smirking” during a committal hearing related to the 2003 fracas. An ankle injury restricts him to 14 games.

2006: A breakthrough year, which many attribute to a better work ethic. Plays 21 games, including an elimination final, and tallies 13 Brownlow votes.

2007: In contention at halfway point of the Brownlow count but finishes equal fifth. Was not invited to the black-tie function so instead donned a Spiderman costume and watched the TV broadcast from teammate Alan Didak’s couch.

2008: Now regarded as one of the league’s premier midfielders. Helps Magpies win an elimination final against Adelaide and tops the club’s best-and-fairest count.

2009: Collects 48 disposals in round 10 against Port Adelaide. Consistent season recognised with All-Australian honours and another club best-and-fairest award.

2010: Dominates for the premiership-winning outfit. Adds the AFL Players’ Association and AFL Coaches’ Association awards to a long list of individual honours but finishes third in Brownlow count.

2011: Quad injury fails to prevent him winning the Brownlow medal. His total of 34 Brownlow votes across 21 games remains a record under the 3-2-1 system. Polls in 14 matches.

2012: Collingwood imposes a two-match suspension after learning Swan had broken club protocol by drinking alcohol six days before a match.

2013: Averages more than 30 possessions a game for the fifth year in a row. Irks Collingwood with an unauthorised interview on the Nine Network in which he addresses rumours of drug use.

2014: Describes his season as “horrendous” and “putrid”. Struggles to get going after pre-season wrist surgery and a bout of glandular fever.

2015: Plays 21 games, passing the 250-game milestone and showing he still has plenty to offer.

2016: Suffers a serious foot injury in round one. Damage is so severe that Swan is eventually forced into retirement.


*258 games

*Premiership winner in 2010

*Brownlow winner in 2011, finished third in 2010, 2013

*All-Australian in 2009-2013

*AFL Coaches’ Association and AFL Players’ Association awards in 2010.

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