Kirk's a clubman to the very end: Swans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kirk's a clubman to the very end: Swans

By Liam FitzGibbon 17/08/2010 06:32:09 PM Comments (0)

Not one for "fairytales", inspirational Sydney Swans skipper Brett Kirk will bow out of football content that he's left a lasting legacy at his beloved AFL club.

Preparing for his farewell game at the SCG against the Western Bulldogs on Saturday, the retiring 33-year-old said on Tuesday he hoped his hard-earned career would serve as inspiration to others.

But despite the Swans having assured finals football with back-to-back wins over Hawthorn and Fremantle, Kirk has no aspirations of a "dream" send-off.

Instead, typical of a player regarded for his drive, determination and commitment, Kirk is keeping his focus firmly on the interests of the club right to the very end.

"In footy, there's not many fairytales that happen," Kirk said.

"But I guess for me it's not about myself, it's more about the legacy I've left for the club.

"... The way, hopefully, I've been able to give to the other players, especially the leaders so that I can walk away thinking I've been able to give something to them."

Kirk knows too well that nothing comes easy in a football career.

He was cut from the club's supplementary list at the end of 1998 before earning another chance.

He was set to be delisted at the end of 2002 before incoming coach Paul Roos chose to give him one last opportunity.

The rest is history and Kirk hopes he has shown people of all walks of life the benefits of never giving in.

"I think, not only people in footy but other people can get inspired by not giving up," Kirk said.

"For me it was all about persistence and I think a lot of people have succeeded in different walks of life all because they just never gave up on what they wanted to do.

"I always had a burning desire to play AFL football and nothing was going to get in my way.

"Plenty of people have been kicked in the backside like I did but for me always deep down inside, I was always going to make it."

Kirk said the SCG would always hold a special place in his heart, but vowed not to let the emotion of Saturday's match get in the way of doing his job for the team.

The match also marks a send-off for outgoing coach Paul Roos while the return of Bulldogs forward Barry Hall to his former stomping ground will also add to the occasion for Kirk.

"To be honest, I'm not going to think of Barry as a Bulldogs player when my career's over," Kirk said.

"He was one person I always loved to play with because you knew his effort was going to be there every week," he said, before adding he would treat Hall just like any other opposing player.

Kirk, who is undecided about his future after football, said he was delighted to have the chance to finish his career playing in his seventh finals series.

"There's no doubt we've performed and exceeded past people's expectations," he said.

"We had a big turnover of players, we lost a lot of players who have been through some successful times with us, there's a lot of youth coming through but we've unearthed some gems this year."

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