Swans laud McVeigh on joining AFL 300 club

Sep 13, 2017 - 5:33 PM John Longmire has had Sydney in the AFL finals every season since he took over as coach and always had Jarrad McVeigh in his corner.

There is nothing coincidental about those two features of Longmire's successful seven-year reign.

The former Swans co-captain plays his 300th game in Friday night's semi-final against Geelong.

McVeigh will be the fourth Sydney player to achieve the feat, behind his fellow skipper Adam Goodes, Jude Bolton and Michael O'Loughlin.

One of Longmire's first decisions when he became coach was to appoint McVeigh co-captain alongside Goodes.

"He's been here for a long time. My whole journey at this club has coincided with Macca being here," Longmire said this week.

"When I was appointed coach we had a conversation about the captaincy and he was really keen to take over as captain at that point.

"I couldn't have wished for a better person to help me out as a new coach."

McVeigh handed over the captaincy to Josh Kennedy this season, but his influence remains massive at Sydney.

"Whether he's been captain or not, he's just been magnificent in the way he helps the coaching staff, senior players, younger players," Longmire said.

"He's just an all-round quality person.

"He's had some real challenges in his life and to be able to get to this point and look at playing 300 games, it's a fantastic and well-deserved achievement."

The most public and tragic of McVeigh's challenges was when he and wife Clementine lost their four-week old daughter Luella in 2011 to a heart condition.

A year later, McVeigh famously hugged second daughter Lolita-Luella on the MCG after Sydney won the premiership.

And on Tuesday, Clementine gave birth to their third daughter Florence.

Now that Florence has arrived on cue, McVeigh can turn his attention to Friday night's MCG clash.

Asked if McVeigh's milestone was added motivation for the Swans, teammate Tom Papley replied "100 per cent".

"He's a role model to everyone at the club. It's an absolute credit to him to play 300 games, at the one club too," Papley added..

"I'm hoping we get the job done for him because he's a great person - and a great role model for the younger boys and the older boys as well."

Source: AAP

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