Just days before Round 21, three players announced their retirements - Eagle defender Shannon Hurn, North Melbourne defender Aaron Hall, and young Hawthorn ruckman Jack Fitzpatrick. Hurn will see out the season by playing the last two home games for the Eagles, resting during the away games. Hall and Fitzpatrick will not see out the season due to injuries.
Hurn, 36, is one of the most highly decorated players in Eagles history and the games record holder will finish with 334 games. Hurn said, “I love playing the game and I know I’m really going to miss it. But I also know the time is right ... you can’t go on forever and it’s time for me to step away. It has been a great honor to play for this football club over the last 18 years and I have loved it since the day I arrived. There are life-long friendships and memories that have been created here and I will always be grateful for that. There are too many individuals to acknowledge ...Obviously all of my teammates, my two senior coaches John Worsfold and Adam Simpson ... I feel very lucky to have played for as long as I have, always wanting to contribute to the team, but ultimately the game does catch up with you ... ".
CEO Trevor Nisbett said, “Shannon has been a wonderful player for us over the last 18 years, but more than that he has been such an outstanding ambassador for our club. A premiership captain, two-time runner-up Club Champion, dual all-Australian and three-time Glendinning-Allan medalist, he has excelled on the biggest occasions. He has been a model of consistency and to do that over such a long period is quite extraordinary. Just as he plays in a matter-of-fact manner, that is pretty much who he is off the field. He is such a stand-up character and is respected universally, not just throughout our club but across the competition.”
Senior Coach Adam Simpson said Hurn was one of the outstanding leaders he had encountered during his time, “The first thing you want from your leaders is to play well. And there weren’t many times in his career when ‘Bunga’ didn’t do that. He is one of only three premiership captains in the history of the club ... He is just such an honest and humble person ... We will definitely miss him, and I know our members and fans will cherish what he has done for our club. They will get the chance to express their appreciation over the last couple of home games.”
West Coast Eagles captain: 2015-2019
Premiership captain: 2018
All-Australian: 2018, 2019 (vice-captain)
AFLPA best captain: 2019
Glendinning/Allan medalist: 2017, 2018, 2019
Club Champion runner-up: 2009, 2022
West Coast Eagles life member: 2014
Games record holder: 334
Aaron Hall, 32, has been struggling with an Achilles injury in recent months. He began his career at Gold Coast where he played 103 games over seven seasons. He was traded to North at the end of 2018 and played a further 58 games. In making his announcement, Hall said, “I’ll look back in time and I’ll be proud of the resilience I’ve shown to be able to get through and forge a career. You’re not promised anything in footy. You’re not promised silverware, you’re not promised wins. But what you can do is give everything you can. When you’re an old fossil like me and you’re standing in front of everyone saying goodbye, you can wholeheartedly say you’ve given everything. I’ve had a blast. I could never have dreamed of this ...".
North Melbourne general manager Todd Viney said despite injury setbacks, Hall continued to make a contribution in any way he could, “Aaron has battled more injuries than most across his career, but what has never wavered is his want for the team to be better. Football has been a big part of Aaron’s life for a long period of time, and he’s made a significant contribution ... These decisions aren’t easy to make, but Aaron has done so with the support of his family and the club ... ".
Source: Travis King, West Coast Media Release, Stacey Oates, North Melbourne Media Release
Article last changed on Wednesday, August 09, 2023 - 4:51 AM EDT