Brett Kirk

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Brett Kirk : biography

25 October 1976 –

Brett Kirk in action for the Sydney Swans

Brett Kirk (born 25 October 1976) is a former Australian rules football player of the Sydney Swans, and is known colloquially as "Kirky", "Captain Kirk", during the 2005 AFL Finals Series, "Captain Blood" and by teammates as "Hippy". Kirk played in a premiership side with the Sydney Swans.

Early career

Kirk grew up in Albury, New South Wales. He was a standout for the North Albury Football Club in the highly competitive Ovens & Murray Football League before being drafted to the Sydney Swans as a rookie.

Post-Playing Career

Since his playing retirement, Kirk has been involved in the fields of media and coaching

Media Career

During 2012, Kirk was a boundary rider during the Seven Network’s coverage of Australian rules football matches

Coaching Career

From 2013, it has been announced Kirk will be a midfield coach at the Fremantle Football Club

AFL career

Kirk was elevated from the Swans rookie list and made his senior debut in 1999, despite having previously been cut from the supplementary list.

For a while, he struggled to cement his place in the team, but since Paul Roos replaced Rodney Eade as coach, his career has blossomed. He has gained a reputation as a tough player, willing to put his body on the line and full of determination.

He was runner-up for the clubs best and fairest award in both 2003 and 2004, making the All Australian Team in 2004. After the resignation of Stuart Maxfield from the Sydney captaincy in the early rounds of the 2005 premiership season, Kirk was one of the six players in the captaincy rotation. He captained the club for 4 games and was later named the best and fairest in the 2005 premiership winning team.

In 2006, Kirk was awarded the AFLPA’s Robert Rose Award for most courageous player jointly with Glenn Archer.

In 2007, Brett Kirk has won his second best and fairest award. Kirk polled in all the 23 matches he played in 2007, amassing a total of 461 votes.

Kirk was one of the most prolific tacklers of his era. In 2010, he surpassed Tony Liberatore’s record of 1225 career tackles; he finished his career with 1278 tackles, which was the record until September 2011, when he was surpassed by Jude Bolton. He led the league in tackles each season between 2003 and 2009, except for 2006, when he came second, one tackle behind James McDonald, and at various times held the record for most tackles in a season.

During the first half of the 2008 season, former Collingwood legend, now Fox Sports commentator Tony Shaw, praised Brett Kirk for his consistency as a leader and a player over the past few years, and rated him as the best captain in the league. He noted that with the departure of great team leaders and club legends like Nathan Buckley for Collingwood, Michael Voss for the Brisbane Lions and James Hird for Essendon, the AFL had lost much of its leadership, and did not hesitate to name Brett Kirk as one of the few who has taken the mantle of the league’s most influential and consistent leaders, alongside players such as that of Brisbane’s Jonathan Brown. Shaw said that though Kirk may not have the speed or skills to rival players like Chris Judd, Gary Ablett, Sam Mitchell and Sydney Swans teammate Adam Goodes, he certainly had the toughness, strength, fitness, consistency and leadership skills to be considered as one of the AFL’s best leaders since his debut.

Brett Kirk is widely known as a tagger but became far more than that. He has shadowed players like Chris Judd, Sam Mitchell and Brisbane Lions Simon Black, the elite players of the league and kept them shut out of the game. His work as an inside midfielder and ability to turn a match by winning clearances and tackles has been elite over his AFL career. He is one of the most respected players of the AFL and has continued to tackle hard and lead the Swans in 2010.

On May 19, 2010, Kirk announced his retirement effective as of the end of the 2010 season. He surpassed Jared Crouch’s Swans record of 194 consecutive AFL matches against Geelong in round 18, 2010. Kirk played his final and 200th consecutive game (having not missed a match since Round 14, 2002) when he faced the Western Bulldogs in the second round of the AFL finals on Saturday 11 September 2010. It is the fifth longest such streak, and is one of two Sydney Swans (the other being Adam Goodes) in the top 5. Kirk was awarded the Best Captain award at the AFLPA MVP Awards night, an award voted on by his peers.

Kirk placed in the top 3 of the Swans’ Best and Fairest award, the Bob Skilton Medal, for 7 straight years (2003–2009). He placed 8th in the 2010 count, his last season as a footballer.

Personal life

In 2008, Kirk was given the honour of meeting with the Dalai Lama during his Australian tour in which he presented the Dalai Lama with a signed Swans jersey. Kirk is known as a practicing Buddhist and wears a tattoo of a Buddhist symbol on his back and arm. When the young Swan Dan Hannebery seemed anxious, Kirk recommended that he do some meditation and read The Power of Now and A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.Samantha Lane,

Kirk’s is married to Haley and they have a son and four daughters.