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Ryan O'Keefe finishes career with Swans but may play on

Grand champs ... Ryan O'Keefe, centre, celebrates with Adam Goodes and Jude Bolton after winning the 2012 grand final

Grand champs ... Ryan O'Keefe, centre, celebrates with Adam Goodes and Jude Bolton after winning the 2012 grand final

Ryan O'Keefe has played his final game for Sydney, the Swans have conceded, but the club legend has not ruled out playing on next year with another side.

There will be no farewell game for O'Keefe in the red and white but the club will pay tribute to the veteran with a lap of honour during half-time of their clash with Richmond at ANZ Stadium on Saturday.

O'Keefe, a dual premiership winner, has not played a senior game since round four and his hopes for a fairytale recall are all but over.

But he will continue playing in the Swans reserves team, who have qualified for the finals in the NEAFL.

"He still hasn't made a decision on what he's going to do next year but what has become clear over the course of the year is he wasn't going to play for us the longer the year went," said Swans coach John Longmire.

The 33-year-old, who comes out of contract at the end of the season, said this year would be his last at the Swans and wanted the chance to publicly thank the fans who have supported him throughout his 286-game career.

"I won't be here next year, which is sad because it has been a big part of my life for 15 years," said O'Keefe, who is fourth for most games played for the Swans.

"The club's been wonderful, the players that I've played with over the whole journey, all the coaches and staff, anyone who has been in connection with the club has touched me and moulded me in the person I am today."

O'Keefe said he would discuss with his family before making a decision on his playing future, but a move into coaching is on the cards.

Swans coach John Longmire said O'Keefe had been the consummate professional during a career which has yielded two premierships, a Norm Smith Medal, All Australian selection in 2006 and a club best and fairest in 2009.

"A couple of memories of Ryan are the fact he used to come into my office every Monday and be first in, get the feedback and work on his game," Longmire said.

"He's been an incredible professional the way he's worked at his craft.

"The thing that stands ou the most is before the 2012 Grand Final, I went to the toilet for about the fifth or sixth time and came across Pebbles and he put his arm around my shoulder and said "don't worry mate, we'll be fine"."

"He then went out and had 15 tackles and won the Norm Smith Medal.

"He's certainly been an absolute champion of this football club."

17 comments so far

  • All the best ROK, you champion. Thanks for everything.

    Commenter
    Oracle
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    August 28, 2014, 11:16AM
    • Kind of a sad end to a glittering career. Thanks for lots of great memories Ryano.

      Commenter
      Chris
      Location
      Kiama
      Date and time
      August 28, 2014, 11:44AM
      • Who could forget Pebbles' blistering Finals Series in 2012? All the best for the future, champ!

        Commenter
        Hannebery's Tongue
        Location
        Burwood
        Date and time
        August 28, 2014, 12:37PM
        • A champ! It is never easy to go out on your terms and would have been great if Ryano could have been part of the team this year but he is and always will be a blood! Thanks for the games, every one of them played with passion. Good luck with your future, you will be missed.

          Commenter
          davexp
          Location
          Melbourne
          Date and time
          August 28, 2014, 12:47PM
          • he would lay more tackles in a quarter than Goodes has done in the last month. don't understand this selection, very unSwanslike, and really hope it bites them on the bum, especially this week. GO TIGES!

            And well played Mr O'Keefe, you were never one of my faves, even at the Swans, but that's a mighty fine career!

            Commenter
            Peter Warrington
            Location
            marrickville
            Date and time
            August 28, 2014, 12:48PM
            • What has Adam Goodes got to do with it?

              AS it happens, Goodes averages 1.4 tacklesper game this year...Dustin Martin averages 0.4

              Not more latent racism I hope?

              Commenter
              Rat Patrol
              Location
              on the right side...
              Date and time
              August 28, 2014, 3:32PM
            • Your comment doesn't make any sense, Goodes is in the forward line whereas Ryan is a tagger/defensive midfielder. You also fail to understand why ROK is out of favour anyway. I am as sad for Ryan as much as the next swans fan but his role in the team became redundant when Ben McGlynn showed everyone how good a midfielder he can be, not to mention Luke Parker's amount of minutes in the midfield increased. When those two collectively are faster and kick more goals, you're always going to come up short. It's still sad though, the pace of the game has changed and so too the tactics. ROK could have played for the swans for another two years if the game was the same as it was 8-9 years ago. Regardless of what his decision is from here, he will always be a blood for life. Go Swans!

              Commenter
              phil
              Date and time
              August 28, 2014, 4:43PM
            • and because you insulted me so, I feel empowered to offer your own correction for you. Martin has 52 tackles this year at 2.6 a game. He has 16 in his last 4 games. Goodes has 4.

              Commenter
              Peter Warrington
              Location
              marrickville
              Date and time
              August 28, 2014, 11:07PM
          • A fine player. To be better as a coach.

            Commenter
            From
            Location
            Outside
            Date and time
            August 28, 2014, 1:30PM
            • Ryan give Leppa a call please mate. Your experience and maturity would be welcomed up here. It would also be a good launching pad for coaching aspirations. See you soon!

              Commenter
              Givva Call
              Location
              Brisbane
              Date and time
              August 28, 2014, 6:39PM

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