Swans return home with Premiership cup
Swans players and coaching staff return home to the SCG following their epic Grand Final victory over Hawthorn.PT0M0S 620 349
WHEN the scores were level midway through the last quarter on Saturday and the spectre of a second drawn grand final in three years was a distinct possibility there was at least one person outside of Andrew Demetriou who would have reasonably enjoyed the idea of another grand final next week - Ben McGlynn.
The man whose hamstring refused to heal in time for this grand final would have been fit to play for a grand final next week. But he didn't want a draw, he wanted a win.
It fit with the selflessness of his week.
A besuited Ben McGlynn with Adam Goodes. Photo: Joe Armao
As players slouched on a stage at the old Lake Oval yesterday McGlynn hovered just off it.
As his role had been all week, he was a backstage performer. He could not be fit to play even a cameo, so the stage was for the actors who had played their part; his place was stage left.
But had the game been drawn he could have and would have been on the stage.
Still he wished not to burden others with the selfish indulgence of a draw, an interminable week and risk of loss.
Besides, the team had come so far and was within touching distance of that which it sought, how could he want to start it all again?
''I only ever wanted us to win the flag,'' McGlynn said.
Still he admitted it left him with mixed emotions to be denied a place in a premiership side he had every right to expect to be his - John Longmire admitted that were McGlynn fit he would have played.
''Obviously mixed emotion but in terms of '08 [when at Hawthorn and he was not picked for the grand final] I obviously missed out and two of my mates, Tom Murphy and Simon Taylor, missed out in '08 and I believe should have played, so today it was good to see that everyone I am close with got the opportunity to play,'' McGlynn said.
''I fell short, I fell short. I missed through injury but if I got through on Thursday I would have played. But we had to have a go on Tuesday because if I was not 100 per cent, for the boys' sake as well, we needed to know, we didn't want to wait until Thursday.''
McGlynn said he was comfortable with that approach and they did not defer the fitness test to Thursday and drawn unnecessary attention to him. ''I look back now and I am happy I gave it a go on Tuesday and I couldn't be happier with the boys.
''I went straight home after Tuesday's test and spent time with my girlfriend Hannah and then Wednesday was a day off, so Thursday was a day of training and I rocked up to training with a positive attitude because in the end it is not about myself, it is about the team winning a premiership.
''I spoke to 'Horse' [Longmire] and other staff at the footy club and said I want to play a big role in terms of being positive with the boys. I travelled with the team down here, I believe I have had an influence on the group playing and not playing. I feel so much a part of this group, and I thought if I could have an influence and be positive, and show that it was not about me.''