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Melbourne Football Club

Mathews reunites with Roos at Dees

ONE of Paul Roos’ premiership players from 2005, former Swans defender/midfielder Ben Mathews, has joined Melbourne’s coaching panel.

Mathews is the second coaching appointment since Roos became coach, joining dual North Melbourne premiership player and long-time Swans and Kangaroos assistant coach Brett Allison, who came to Melbourne on Wednesday.

The 34 year-old has been a development coach with the Gold Coast Suns since 2012.  

Mathews played 198 matches and kicked 45 goals for the Sydney Swans from 1997-2008.

A member of the Swans’ 2005 premiership team, Mathews came from Corowa-Rutherglen and developed in the reserves in 1996, before he made his AFL debut against the West Coast Eagles in round 16, 1997.

Mathews’ durability and reliable team play was a feature of his career. From round 16, 1999 to round five, 2006, he made 151 appearances from 154 matches.

After gaining a NAB AFL Rising Star nomination in 1999, Mathews stepped up considerably in 2000, finishing sixth in Sydney’s best and fairest, and in 2001, he finished third.

Mathews, who wore No. 36 early in his career with the Swans, was handed the prized No. 4 guernsey, worn by one of the game’s greatest players, Tony Lockett, in 2001.

When Lockett, who retired at the end of the 1999 season, made a comeback in 2002, Mathews refused to hand the No. 4 jumper back to ‘Plugger’. Lockett then wore No. 46 in his three games that year.

Mathews was regarded as a courageous and consistent player, and an integral part of Roos’ time as coach in the Harbour City.