On Saturday, south-east Queensland will play host to two classic AFL grand final match-ups from the noughties.
Former Sydney Swans co-captain Jarrad McVeigh has officially announced his retirement from the AFL at the conclusion of this season.
He will join the Swans coaching panel in 2020.
The 324-game veteran has been dogged by soft-tissue injuries this season and made the decision this morning that this season would be his last.
The Central Coast native was a rare talent to emerge from New South Wales during his junior days, playing for Sydney’s Pennant Hills Demons and eventually being selected with pick five in the 2002 draft.
Coach John Longmire lauded McVeigh in a press conference, calling him “talented, a fierce competitor, selfless, a great decision-maker, strong leader, elite trainer, [with] first-class football knowledge.”
“I was very fortunate to arrive at the club at the same time that a young curly-haired Jarrad McVeigh was first drafted. To see him develop from a young player with talent into an elite AFL player and leader, has been a great privilege,” he said.
He made his debut in 2004, but was overlooked for the side that won the 2005 grand final.
He tasted success in the 2012 decider, but endured rough defeats in 2006, 2014 and 2016.
The last few seasons of McVeigh’s career were interesting, with the Swans claiming in both 2017 and 2018 that they expected the former skipper to retire.
Amidst reports he was unhappy at the prospect of being moved on, he was linked with a move to the Giants at the end of 2017, which didn’t eventuate.
He joins premiership teammate Heath Grundy in retirement from the Swans this season, with the future around fellow defender Nick Smith’s future also up in the air.