SURELY there will be no player on the field tonight who enjoyed the short flight to Coffs Harbour more than Sydney Swans utility Ben McGlynn.
As a boy McGlynn would jump in the van with his parents and three brothers and make the 18-hour trek from the far south-western NSW town of Wentworth to Coffs Harbour for family holidays.
“We used to go up there with family friends every three years,” he said.
“It was two days driving, which was a bit hard when we were younger, but I remember going to the beaches and going up into the mountains, which was good fun.”
McGlynn isn’t in town this weekend for a holiday though.
The 25-year-old played 14 games in his first season for the Swans last year after crossing over from Hawthorn.
“I’m really enjoying my footy at the Swans,” he said.
“Obviously it was disappointing leaving Hawthorn, but for my football career it was a decision that I made and I’m really enjoying my footy with the Swans and hopefully I can play few more games, be injury free and continue the form that I had last year.”
When McGlynn says he wants to stay injury free, it’s no surprise.
In round 20 last year, the handy goalkicker had a triple fracture of his cheekbone after courageously running head first towards the knees of Fremantle’s Zac Clarke while attempting to gain possession.
The fact the diminutive runner returned only four weeks later to play in Sydney’s semi-final loss against Western Bulldogs surprised few, but he admitted there were a few hurdles to get over before he took to the field for the important clash.
“It hasn’t crossed my mind going into the NAB Cup and NAB Challenge, but definitely, last year before the semi-final was something that mentally was tough,” he said.
“Physically I was right to go and I had to have that confidence in my face that I was right to go.”
The Swans led that semi-final by 30 points when McGlynn kicked a goal 17 minutes into the second quarter. Unfortunately the team let the lead slip to lose by five points. It’s a result that has spurred on the playing group over summer.
“It was so disappointing to lose that game, we pretty much had it in the bag,” he said.
“A few skill errors and just not going with the game plan cost us the game so we’ve definitely used that as motivation over the summer and the boys are looking to go at least one better this year.
“We’ve got a good young exciting group, we’ve had a good pre-season so hopefully it’s a good season ahead.”