MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 25: Dane Swan of the Magpies breaks clear of the pack to kick a goal during the round five AFL match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Essendon Bombers at Melbourne Cricket Ground on April 25, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)

Swan opens up about ANZAC Day experiences

Former Collingwood midfielder and all-around top bloke Dane Swan has penned another article for foxsports.com.au, think time detailing his experience playing on one of the biggest stages of them all, ANZAC Day.

A dual ANZAC Day Medallist, Swan notorious played well on April 25, and said even though he’s currently in the US enjoying the Coachella music festival, he’ll be watching the big clash.

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The following is an except from the full article, which you can view on the Fox Sports website here.

If you haven’t already gathered, I don’t particularly miss footy that much. In fact I haven’t really watched many games, except for the Pies.

But I won’t be missing Anzac Day — the one game of the year I’ll miss the most. It’ll be on at about 10.30pm on Monday night, so I’m heading over to a mate’s place to watch it. He’s going to cook up a roast lamb to make it feel like I’m back home.

Hopefully I’ll be awake for the game, as the next four days are going to be reasonably large.

Anzac Day was the one game of the year that you wanted to play well in. The crowd of nearly 100,000, the pre-game ceremony and Last Post — it’s clearly the best day of the year, outside of finals, to play in.

In case you didn’t know, I went all right on Anzac Day. From 11 games I won two BOG medals, polled seven Brownlow votes and averaged 26 touches. Not that I harp on it too much now.

My favourite Anzac Day game was 2014. I hadn’t had a kick in the first four games of the year and was almost written off. So to come out, kick three, win the medal and prove to everyone that I could still play was pretty special.

The 2012 game is a close second. I’d got called “fat” a couple of times in the weeks before, so I was pretty fired up to shut a few people up. I kicked three from 43 touches — big day. Most people remember my belly rub after I’d kicked my last goal. It wasn’t pre-planned, it just happened in the spur of the moment. Above all, we won by a point, so every goal and kick mattered.

It’s an awesome day to play on, but the significance of the day in terms of Australia’s history isn’t lost on me either. It made me appreciate how important the brave actions of so many men and women in the past decades even more. To give a little bit back to the people who fought for our country by kicking a ball around for two hours was pretty important to me.

Mick Malthouse was huge on it. As a huge history buff, he made it so much more important to us. Mick used to bring in letters from 19-year-olds in the 1910s who were about to go to war. He’d have tears in his eyes — then we’d all choke up to. It made you want to break the change room door down to want to play the game.

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