by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
Sydney's Henry Playfair announced his immediate retirement ahead of Round 16 due to a serious back injury. He was initially injured in Round 14. After consulting club medical staff, the injury plagued star decided he could not face another lengthy round of rehab. Playfair missed the entire 2009 season due to tendon surgery and has battled chronic hamstring injury for the past two seasons. Playfair, when learning of the seriousness of his back injury, said he realized his body was "just not up to it". He will remain with the club in an off-field capacity.
Playfair was drafted by Geelong in 2001 and viewed as a key forward and back-up ruckman. He was given time to develop in the VFL and finally made his debut in 2003, playing six games. He played a further 17 games in 2004 and added another 20 in 2005, missing several weeks with a broken jaw. He managed just eight games in 2006. Unable to fight his way back into the strong Geelong senior team, he played only one game in 2007 and was traded to Sydney. Hamstring injuries book-ended his 11-game 2008 season, with the second one being a serious hamstring tear. He was delisted at the end of the 2009 season, but the Swans redrafted him to the rookie list. He has played just five games in 2010.
Coach Paul Roos praised Playfair for his courage and character in fighting back from his injuries. Roos also noted that he was a very popular player who had embraced the club and was always willing to help and mentor the younger players. Roos said Playfair would be missed on and off the field.
Source: afl.com.au, AFL Record Season Guides 2004-2010
Port Adelaide star Josh Carr announced last week that the Round 17 Showdown game against cross-town rival Adelaide - his 207th career game - would be his last. He will finish his career with 124 games for Port and 83 games for Fremantle.
Carr was drafted to Port Adelaide in 1998 and debuted in 2000. He played 105 games for Port through 2004. Originally from Western Australia, he requested to be traded to Fremantle so he could play alongside brother Matthew (162 games, St Kilda and Fremantle). Matthew retired in 2008 and Josh returned to Port in 2009 where he has been a mainstay of the midfield.
In making the announcement, Carr said playing AFL football had been a dream all his life and he had fulfilled that dream. He also said that to play for a club like Port was "unbelievable". He remarked that he could sense the pride of the club from the first day he arrived. Coach Matthew Primus, who played alongside Carr, said Carr was one of his favorite players. Primus praised Carr for the way he developed his game to be able to negate opposition stars such as Nathan Buckley, Michael Voss and Mark Ricciuto and still gain plenty of ball possessions of his own. He said that Carr "made so many of our players walk taller. It was extraordinary that he could get so much out of his body through his attitude and just sheer willpower. He was a major cog in our 2004 premiership side and he can proudly retire knowing he’s given his all.”
Carr also quipped that he felt a bit like a lucky charm for Port when they played Adelaide. Ahead of Round 17, he had played in 9 Showdowns for 9 wins.
Games: 206 (before Round 17)
2000: Best First Year Player
2001: Most Improved
2005-08: Fremantle Vice-Captain
Source: afl.com.au, portadelaidefc.com.au, Encyclopedia of League Footballers
Article last changed on Tuesday, July 27, 2010 - 10:01 AM EDT