Alumni Players

Madden Medal: Nick Smith

The Madden Medal, presented by The Diamond Guys, is named after brothers Simon and Justin Madden, and is awarded annually to the retiring player who has best demonstrated on-field excellence, personal development and growth, as well as community spirit over the course of their playing career. The winner will be announced at the AFL Players’ Association Season Celebration on Thursday, March 12.

Persistence, hard work, relentless drive and compassion are words that come to mind when you think of Nick Smith.

After arriving at the Sydney Swans as a rookie in 2006, Smith put in the hard yards to eventually make his AFL debut in Round 5, 2008. Although drafted from the Oakleigh Chargers as a midfielder, it was in defence that he stamped his impact, going head-to-head with the best small forwards in the competition, including Steve Johnson, Eddie Betts, Cyril Rioli and Stephen Milne.

When a serious hamstring injury forced Smith into announcing his retirement in August 2019, he farewelled the game with 211 AFL matches, a 2012 premiership medal, the Swans’ 2009 Rising Star award and the club’s 2011 most improved honour on his resume. He was also a member of the club’s leadership group from 2012 until he retired, while he was named in the 2014 All Australian team.

Away from the field, Smith would be described by everyone at the Sydney Swans as a truly outstanding individual always willing to give of himself for others. He was an inaugural member of the Sydney Swans Diversity Action Plan committee, a Swans Pride ambassador and was active in his support of all Team Swans community engagements. In addition, he was the AFL Players’ Association Club Delegate from 2014 – 2019.

During his playing career, Smith also put time into personal development, completing a Bachelor of Economics at the University of NSW and becoming a qualified forklift driver. In 2012, he was named the UNSW Male Athlete of the Year.

Smith is now working part-time as a Sydney Swans development coach.


  • 211 AFL Games
  • Sydney Swans Premiership Player (2012)
  • All-Australian Team (2014)
  • Sydney Swans Leadership Group member (2012 – 2019)
  • Sydney Swans Most Improved Player (2011)
  • Sydney Swans Best First Year Player (2009)


  • Bachelor of Economics – University of NSW (2009-2019)
  • UNSW Male Athlete of the Year Award (2012)


  • Sydney Swans Diversity Action Plan Committee Member
  • Sydney Swans Pride Ambassador
  • Active in his support for all Team Swans community engagements


  • Sydney Swans Leadership Group member (2012 – 2019)
  • AFL Players’ Association Club Delegate (2014 – 2019)