Veteran Sydney utility Ben McGlynn is getting older, but after an injury-plagued 12 months he’s confident his body will carry him through this AFL season.
McGlynn made his comeback to the Swans’ senior ranks in Saturday’s 25-point derby win over Greater Western Sydney, having played two reserve-grade games to build up his fitness.
It was a difficult yet significant step forward for the 30-year-old, who made just nine appearances in an nightmare 2015 campaign plagued by calf and hamstring problems.
That “very frustrating” run followed an outstanding 2014 season, and McGlynn said it helped keep him motivated to get back in form.
“It’s a tough game, and I’m getting towards the end of my career as well so you need to be doing everything you can to stay out on the park,” McGlynn said.
“Unfortunately my pre-season last year was interrupted with calf injuries, so I was pretty much chasing my tail for the whole year to keep up with the pace of the game.
“But that’s in the past now, we’ve put in a new program that’s hopefully going to put me in good stead for the rest of this year.”
McGlynn focused on gym work this summer, increasing leg strength and starting running in February.
“I feel very confident in my body now and the strength in my legs is what I needed,” he said.
The Swans travel to Adelaide on Saturday, in the undefeated ladder-leaders’ sternest test yet.
Having beaten the Crows in the last four match-ups, there was a confidence in Sydney’s camp that they’d have the edge against the league’s highest-scoring side.
“They’re a very attacking team and their midfield is pretty strong,” McGlynn said.
“I know they lost (Patrick) Dangerfield, but they’ve still got a great midfield that have stepped up in his absence.
“We need to be aware of their midfield, and obviously their forward line speaks for itself … nothing against Adelaide, but we think we’ve got it over them.”