Darren Glass will be remembered as one of the AFL’s premier full backs, and retires with four All-Australian selections and three Best and Fairest Awards to his name. He has also been an active member of the community, and has rightfully been nominated for Friday’s Madden Medal.
Congratulations on a wonderful career to Darren Glass. We were adversaries since '99 in U18s & had some great battles. True leader! #respect
— Matthew Pavlich (@mattpav29) June 12, 2014
A physically imposing key defender, Glass will be remembered as one of the Eagles’ great leaders.
He was recruited by West Coast with pick 11 in the 1999 AFL Draft and went on to play 14 games in his debut season.
In his early years, Glass kept a low profile in a team gifted with big-name stars such as Ben Cousins, Chris Judd and Daniel Kerr. It wasn’t until 2005 when the resilient defender stood out among that elite list of players as part of the Grand Final team that narrowly lost to Sydney.
The following year Glass took his game to a new level, earning his first All-Australian selection and performing a vital role in the Eagles’ one point victory over the Swans in the Grand Final.
In 2007, he was recognised for his fantastic leadership among the West Coast playing group by being named captain, a position he held right through to his retirement this year.
West Coast coach Adam Simpson praised Glass’s many accolades.
“He’s an All Australian captain as a key defender. How often do you see that? That speaks volumes of where he’s held, not only in the club, but across the competition,” he told The Age.
“And to be captain too, how many key defenders are captain? Not just three of four years, but seven years as a captain. He’s a legend of the club.”
Darren Glass what a champ.Hard to beat in marking contest, quick on the lead, ultra courageous and a great leader. Well done put ya feet up.
— Matthew Richardson (@mattricho0) June 12, 2014
Through his ambassador role at the Princess Margaret Hospital, Glass met a courageous young boy named Cole Lane.
Lane, a fanatical Eagles supporter, was diagnosed with bone cancer and as a result had to undergo surgery to amputate his arm.
Prior to his surgery, Glass made a special visit to Lane and they instantly developed a friendship upon the discovery they each had a twin sister. Glass also presented Lane with a small gift – a chain with a tiny sword – for strength going into his surgery.
“He’s awesome and kind-hearted. He helped me get through this,” Lane told news.com.au.
“If it wasn’t for him then I would have struggled a lot more with the hard times.”
During his career Glass also completed a Bachelor of Commerce at Curtin University and has announced he will study a Master of Business Administration next year.
“I really love football but time away from the game is also healthy. Enrolling in the MBA Full Time will allow me to further develop my management skills,” Glass told The University of Western Australia.
“I can study intensively for 12 months, complete a tailored Leadership Development Program, and learn from WA’s top business leaders.
“It’s the best preparation I could possibly have for a transition into coaching or other executive roles in AFL or another industry.”
The 2014 Madden Medal winner will be announced on Friday, September 30.