O'Loughlin wins AFLPA's Madden Medal - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

O'Loughlin wins AFLPA's Madden Medal

04/12/2009 08:51:34 PM Comments (0)

Many newly-retired professional sportspeople hit a moment when they realise, with a hollow feeling in their stomach, that their time has indeed passed.

AFL star Michael O'Loughlin is definitely not one of those lost sporting souls.

O'Loughlin was honoured on Friday for his distinguished service on and off the field, winning the AFL Players' Association Madden Medal.

The AFLPA's executive voted for O'Loughlin ahead of a strong field of newly-retired players that included Matthew Lloyd, Joel Bowden, Matthew Richardson and Tom Harley.

Not long ago, he saw Sydney coach Paul Roos hammering O'Loughlin's former team-mates at pre-season training.

"I drove past the boys, Roosy was flogging them, I stuck my hand out the window, gave them a wave and kept driving," O'Loughlin said with a grin.

"I'm pretty content with where I'm at, at the moment.

"My role now is obviously to expose some more indigenous people to the game and help these young guys come through."

O'Loughlin noted in his acceptance speech at the awards lunch that "everything I have is from football".

But the Swans forward has reciprocated.

O'Loughlin played a club-record 303 games, was a key member of Sydney's historic 2005 premiership and made two All-Australian teams.

Nicknamed Magic for his on-field feats, the much-respected indigenous player has also worked hard in the community.

Apart from his heavy involvement in the indigenous community, O'Loughlin has helped promote the game in the tough Sydney market.

He is now a part-time coach at the AFL Academy, along with Lloyd and Harley, and will continue to focus on working with young indigenous players.

O'Loughlin was stunned to win the medal and said he thought Richardson would take it out.

"It's an unbelievable field ... I'm in fantastic company and obviously extremely lucky to win this," he said.

"I'm absolutely thrilled, that's for sure - it's fantastic."

O'Loughlin also won the Community Spirit Award, while Lloyd took out the Football Achievement category.

The Personal Development Award went to Bowden, the AFLPA president.

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