Dane Swan is a retired AFL footballer who played his whole career for Collingwood Football Club. A prolific ball-winner, specifically in his later career, Swan was the season leader in the AFL in total disposals on four occasions and in total kicks on five occasions. Swan accumulated an average of 26.85 disposals per game during his AFL career, which at the time of his retirement was the second highest average of all time. He was a strongly built midfielder who was dangerous if released to half forward! Dane had an ability to out-sprint his opponents. Which in turn made him Collingwood’s most consistent player at the time.
Life Before Football
Born in Melbourne to Billy and Deidre Swan 25 February, 1984. His father, Billy Swan was a footballer in the VFA. He won the J. J. Liston Trophy twice and playing a league record 302 games with Port Melbourne and Williamstown from 1976–1993.
Growing up playing junior football for the Westmeadows Football Club in the Essendon District Football League. Before playing his under 18 football with the Calder Cannons in the TAC Cup. Swan’s performances at the Calder Cannons were ordinary and he was perceived, by some recruiters to be a ‘larrikin’. However Collingwood Football Club showed an interest in him, and rightly so as it turned out.
Early Football Career
The club went on to pick him with pick 58 in the 2001 AFL draft, but made his debut in 2003. He was made to wait until round 13 to play the first of 3 games that season, playing against Western Bulldogs. Round 16 he played against Richmond and Round 22 against Essedon but narrowly missed out on being picked for the finals. In his first 4 seasons, Swan played a total of 30 games playing some decent football but was reagrded by some as not outstanding.
In 2006 he had a break through, playing 21 games that season and came 6th in the Copeland Trophy voting. By 2007 he had made his way up to 4th in the Copeland Trophy voting. But, 2008 was his year to win the Copeland Trophy, averaging 25 disposals, 7 marks, 3 tackles and a goal per game. He only went on to improve every year being selected in the 2009 All-Australian team, as a half forward flanker, rather than his usual position as a midfielder.