Swans captain Kirk to play 200th game - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Swans captain Kirk to play 200th game

By Adrian Warren 21/04/2009 06:39:38 PM Comments (0)

Sydney coach Paul Roos has paid co-captain Brett Kirk a massive compliment in the lead up to the midfield warrior's 200th AFL appearance against Fremantle at Subiaco Oval on Saturday.

Roos believes the unflagging 32-year-old veteran has squeezed as much out of himself, if not more, than any other player he has seen.

Kirk was delisted by the Swans, but returned from North Albury to become one of the club's most popular, influential and consistent players.

Famed for his boundless competitiveness, Kirk has finished either first or second in the Swans' best and fairest in each of the last four years.

"It's hard with (comparing different) years, but he's certainly the equal of any player that I've seen that has got the absolute best out of himself, but got to an extremely high level in doing so," Roos said of Kirk.

"I've seen players that have got the best out of themselves and maybe their best finish was fifth in a best and fairest, or a second, but they always tried really, really hard.

"Kirky is probably the best or equal to the best because of the extraordinary results that he's gained in AFL footy."

Following his first tentative steps in senior football, Kirk flourished after Roos replaced Rodney Eade halfway through the 2002 campaign.

Roos recalled a specific turning point in Kirk's career.

"A significant moment was (former Sydney captain) Stuart Maxfield coming into match committee and almost demanding we pick him (Kirk) as a tagger," Roos said.

Kirk went on to play in two grand finals including the 2005 premiership and also achieved All-Australian and International Rules recognition.

The modest leader admitted he wasn't especially talented, but had been driven by an unquenchable desire to play in the AFL.

"I'd say there will be a lot more talented people out there but probably haven't come this far, but I was willing to do anything to be here and to stay here," Kirk said.

"I was willing to fight and not give up and if it meant fighting someone to get here, I was willing to do anything."

While Sydney's four other players over 30, Jared Crouch, Barry Hall, Michael O'Loughlin and Leo Barry have all been battling injuries, Kirk has remained fit this season.

He attributed his resilience to unconventional methods for footballers such as meditation and yoga.

He said he was in a pretty good head space at the moment and gave no hint he was considering retirement anytime soon.

"I feel good in my body and if the club still wants me to run around I will keep going to the point I haven't got it in my heart," Kirk said.

"At the moment my heart is how I play my footy and it's still pretty strong."

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