Acting AFL Players’ Association CEO Ian Prendergast has paid tribute to the retiring Luke Ball and his contribution as AFL Players’ President.
Speaking earlier today with SEN’s Morning Glory, Prendergast described Ball as the perfect leader and a calming influence in the boardroom.
“He’s been the perfect leader in a lot of ways,” said Prendergast.
“(He’s) very intelligent and very considered. There’s obviously a lot of emotion surrounding the issues that we deal with coming from the players, but ‘Bally’ had an amazing ability to rise above that, see the bigger picture and take a really balanced approach.”
“At board level we’ve got a pretty diverse group having really robust discussion, and ‘Bally’ will come in and be able to round those conversations out.”
Aside Brisbane Lions premiership player Luke Power, Ball headed negotiations for the Collective Bargaining Agreement in 2011.
Prendergast says being involved in these discussions provided Ball with the perfect opportunity to show his nous at the administerial side of football.
“The experience he had with leading the Association in those negotiations, which were obviously quite willing and very public, served him well to take the reins and hand the Association over in good hands to the next leader.”
Ball succeeded Power as Players’ Association President in 2012 and will continue in this role until the PA’s Annual General Meeting in March 2015.
At St. Kilda, Ball played 142 games, was Best and Fairest and All-Australian in 2005, Captain in 2006 and a Grand Finalist in 2009. He then moved to Collingwood where he’s played a further 80 games, playing in two more Grand Finals – as a winner in 2010 and runner-up in 2011.
Prendergast’s interview with the Morning Glory can be heard in full, below.