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Ball, Jackson set to step down from board

Luke Ball and Daniel Jackson have told the AFL Players’ Association board that they will both step down at the Annual General Meeting in March.

The recently-retired pair confirmed their decision to vacate their board positions on Thursday night.

The Players’ Association board will meet on March 17 to elect a new president.

Players’ Association CEO Paul Marsh acknowledged the dedication, passion and commitment of both Ball and Jackson during their time with the organisation.

“Both Luke and Daniel will be missed but they leave the AFL Players’ Association in a strong position, ready for the challenges ahead” – AFL Players’ Association CEO Paul Marsh

“Luke has been an outstanding leader of the Players’ Association during his time as president and before that was a respected voice on the board,” Marsh said.

“He has had strong views on football, the demands of the game, and the pressures that come with being an elite player.

“He has been a selfless contributor and meaningful voice for all players.

“Daniel has also been a footballer who has had the interest of players as a whole at the forefront of his thinking.

“He has been a fantastic leader and spokesperson for the Players’ Association.

“Both Luke and Daniel will be missed but they leave the AFL Players’ Association in a strong position, ready for the challenges ahead.”

Ball succeeded Luke Power as President of the Players’ Association in 2012. He announced his AFL retirement last August after 223 games with St Kilda and Collingwood, including the 2010 premiership with the Magpies.

Jackson, 28, served as a board member during Ball’s presidency and a respected voice on a wide range of issues during his 156-game career at Punt Road.

Both Ball and Jackson were 2014 Madden Medal nominees.

Ball said he was proud of his time as president of the Players’ Association.

“It has been a privilege to lead the AFL Players’ Association as President since 2012.

“It is a critical AFL organisation that continues to grow and evolve.

“I wish the new president and board all the very best and will continue to take a keen interest in the work and development of the AFL Players’ Association.”

Read Players’ Association vice president Matthew Pavlich’s tribute to Luke Ball

Jackson said he left the Players’ Association at an exciting stage. He encouraged the current crop of players to speak openly about issues they felt strongly about.

“In today’s media where anyone can access news and share their opinions, we have 800 players who can have a voice,” Jackson said.

Jackson also acknowledged the contribution of outgoing president Ball.

“He would never dominate a conversation just because he was the president. He would listen to everyone’s views. But when he needed a tough call he would do it,” Jackson said.

“He was always the guy putting his hand up to do the jobs nobody wanted to do. He was an absolute team man. I would love to have played footy with him.

“I know he will go on and do great things such is the quality of his character.”