Luke Power. Photo: Steve Christo
DESPITE having three premierships to his name, Luke Power doesn't rate himself the league's best retiring player this season.
But yesterday he won the AFL Players Association's Madden Medal ahead of Geelong's Matthew Scarlett and David Wojcinski, Melbourne's Brad Green and Hawthorn's Chance Bateman and Cameron Bruce.
What made him stand out was a decision he made 12 months ago after he had just announced his retirement from the Brisbane Lions, a club he said he would always love.
A surprise offer of a job as a playing coach for the league's new kids on the block, Greater Western Sydney, as well as a co-captaincy, was an opportunity too good to pass up.
''At the end of the day my decision to go to GWS was purely and simply the best thing for my family and career going forward. As a result, I got to have a year where I played and coached and learnt a whole different side of the industry and now I have more skills to go out into life out of football. It's been terrific. I've enjoyed everything. I've upskilled, I've got much more knowledge on the game and what goes into it.
''It's probably one of the best decisions I've made. I don't necessarily think I'm the best player [retiring this year]. Obviously [the medal] takes into consideration a lot other things and I've been fortunate enough to have done a fair bit and have had the resources to do a fair bit over my career.''
Power said he had learnt a lot this year from GWS senior assistant Mark Williams and he praised his replacement Leon Cameron as being perfectly suited to the developing club.
But despite the joy the Giants gave him, he said the Lions would forever hold the special football place in his heart.
Power is on the board of the AFLPA, but dismissed himself from this year's Madden Medal voting. He also was ambassador for the Starlight Children's Foundation, which assists seriously ill children.