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Jarrad McVeigh's premiership cup runneth over

McVeigh: the consummate leader Sydney Swans coach John Longmire on the influence of his co-skipper and 250-gamer Jarrad McVeigh
Jarrad McVeigh with daughter Lolita-Luella McVeigh celebrate after the 2012 Toyota Grand Final match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Sydney Swans at the MCG, Melbourne. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Jarrad McVeigh with his daughter Lolita-Luella after the 2012 premiership triumph

THERE were times when Jarrad McVeigh thought his chance to win a flag with the Sydney Swans might not come, and he'd go his entire career without touching a premiership cup.

Jarrad's older brother Mark had a distinguished career with Essendon, but never won a premiership with the Bombers.

Both missed out on being part of premiership teams early in their careers, then played in losing Grand Finals the following year.

Thankfully, as the brothers explained in an interview in this week's AFL Record, Jarrad did get another chance, and took it, when the Swans beat Hawthorn in 2012.

This weekend, Jarrad will become just the seventh Swan to reach 250 games.

"To stand there and get a medal is what you dream of as a little kid,” McVeigh says.

“My dad took my brother and I to our first grand final in 1993, Essendon versus Carlton. You grow up watching that day your whole life, then to be part of it and hold up the cup, there's nothing better in footy," he says.

It was a bittersweet day for the McVeigh family.

Mark, 31, had retired after 232 games and was taking part in a motorcade for retirees.

It meant he had to watch his little brother sitting away from family and friends. But watching Jarrad co-captain the Swans to the premiership was a fine way to end his own career.

After seeing the game unfold from the stands, Mark wanted to be by his brother's side, and although it took some doing, the McVeigh embrace was well worth it.

Jarrad had played with a heavy heart, mourning the loss the year before of his daughter Luella. Images of Jarrad and his wife Clementine with their newly born daughter Lolita-Luella celebrating the premiership melted hearts around the country.

Wining the flag was finally a reason to smile after such a difficult period for the Swans' co-captain and his family.

"I just loved every minute … I just wanted to see him," Mark says.

"I got down there and the Swans supporters parted when they recognised who I was. They allowed me to get to him.

"It was a pretty good moment."

Read the full article in this week's AFL Record