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Hibberd Handballs (File photo/AFANA)

Demon defender Michael Hibberd, 33, announced his retirement after 12 seasons and 197 for Essendon and Melbourne. The West Coast Eagles have delisted defender Luke Foley, Xavier O’Neill, Greg Clark, Connor West, forward Isiah Winder, and utility player Sam Petrevski-Seton.

In making the retirement announcement, Hibberd said, “I have really loved my time at the club. I love the boys and I feel like I could play until I am 40, but I know that’s not the reality. The body gets a bit slower as you get older, and although I like to think that I have a little bit left in me, I feel like going out with a little left in the tank is the right way to go about it ... ".

He quit Essendon at the end of 2016 over the supplements scandal and was one of the players suspended for the year. He joined the Demons ahead of the 2017 season and made All-Australian that year and was a member of the 2021 premiership team. He also played in the International Rules series in 2021.

Hibberd said he was incredibly proud of what he had achieved over the years and highlighted his strong bond with Coach Simon Goodwin, “Goody has been part of my journey since my first year in the AFL system and it's been fun times along the way. There's been some hard times as well, but…you've got the best out of me from the get-go. We have got a good friendship and there's been some hard coaching done at times, but it's only made me a better person and a better player. I appreciate Goody backing me in over the years and the opportunities that he has given me. This club has changed my life and it's been the best decision I've ever made to come here.”

Melbourne general manager Alan Richardson acknowledged Hibberd’s significant career and contribution to the game, “Michael will leave an incredible mark on not only our football club, but the competition. The impact he has had since arriving at our club has been enormous, and he has shown up every single day with an attitude to get better both as a player and a teammate. He is someone who plays with heart, spirit and desperation, and he should be very proud of what he has achieved ...We have been a better team, thanks to him ...".

For West Coast, O’Neill played 39 games, Clark played 21, West played 28, and Winder played seven games. Petrevski-Seton was originally drafted by Carlton 2016 and played 29 games before requesting to be traded back to West Australia. He played 21 games for the Eagles.

Source: Caitlin Nobes, Melbourne Media Release, Travis King, West Coast Media Release

Article last changed on Sunday, September 24, 2023 - 3:20 PM EDT


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