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Davis Leads GWS (file photo)

Just ahead of Round 23, GWS forward Daniel Lloyd and defender Phil Davis announced their retirements. Lloyd, 31, will see out the season. Lloyd was on a NSW scholarship with the Western Bulldogs but gave it up to return to Killamey in Queensland. He was working as a carpenter and playing for a local club in the Black Diamond League when he was spotted by fellow Queenslander and former Bomber Mark McVeigh. Lloyd, 23 at the time, tried out for the Giants and was signed ahead of the 2016 season. Through Round 23, he has 98 games to his name.

In making the announcement, Lloyd said, “I’ve known for quite some time now ... It’s the right time ... I’m so grateful for what this club has given me. It’s provided me with an environment to not only become a better footballer but more importantly, to become a better person, a better husband and father. It’s given me skills and values that will no doubt help me in the future, relationships that will last a lifetime, and I think what I’m most grateful for are the memories - The ones I’ve created with all of you here and the ones I’ve been able to share with my but wife, kids and family ... My teammates – I'm going to miss you the most ... The bonds and friendships I’ve made with you all will be what I cherish the most ...". He went on to say he never wanted any accolades or credit but rather just be a selfless player his teammates could trust and one who always put the team first.

Football manager Jason McCartney said Lloyd epitomizes what it means to be a Giant, “We’re so rapt that ‘Spike’ (Mark McVeigh) believed in you and we’re so rapt that Leon (then coach Leon Cameron) gave you the opportunity because you epitomize what it is to be a Giants person. You came in late, eight years, you've just got to work. You've mastered your craft and you’ve played an important role ... You’ve got the very best out of yourself ... You’ve left a really strong, positive mark on everyone. So, thank you for everything you’ve done.”

GWS defender Phil Davis, 32, announced his retirement after 192 games. Originally drafted by Adelaide in 2008, he played 19 games for the Crows before crossing to GWS in 2012. He was the inaugural co-captain alongside Callan Ward when GWS joined the AFL. He played 174 games for the Giants. He was delisted at the end of last season but signed on as a rookie for one more season. However, an ankle injury in March has kept him sidelined for the season. Knee and ankle injuries over the past several seasons have also kept him out for a number of games. He also overcame a serious kidney injury in 2014, an injury which required two surgeries and a stint in intensive care.

Davis said he has no regrets about the extra season, saying he reveled in watching other players and the team develop, "I came back to find out if I had anything left in me. What I've learned this year is how much enjoyment I've received out watching people develop and grow. To become unnecessary and superseded at a footy club is a nice feeling to have at the end. To see us be us again gives me great satisfaction."

CEO Dave Matthews said, "It's hard to put into words what Phil means to our club. When we were building the Giants, we were looking to bring in quality players but also quality people for us to build a club and culture around. Phil has exemplified that from day one - and then some ... He is revered as one of the best leaders in the game and he, along with Callan Ward, truly set our club up for success from the very early days. Together they set high standards, drove a family culture, and led us through every challenge."

Giants chairman Tony Shepherd also lavished praise on Davis, saying the defender is destined for further success in his life after football, "Phil will be a Giant for life and the influence he's had on our group will be felt for many years to come. Phil is an uncompromising competitor who got everything out of himself, made his teammates better, and leaves the club as an instrumental figure in building the Giants to where we are today. He will always be our inaugural co-captain, our first-ever Grand Final captain, and one of the most significant players in our history."

Source: Laura Elliott, GWS Media Release, afl.com.au

Article last changed on Monday, September 25, 2023 - 10:45 AM EDT


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