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Stories related to player retirements

Bomber Duo Depart

"TippA" (file photo)

Bomber fan favorite Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti announced his retirement. Round 24 will be his farewell game. He retired in 2021 due to injury and weight issues but came out of retirement for the 2023 season. He managed just nine games this year. He will finish on 133 games. Through Round 23, he has kicked 157 goals. Essendon also informed tall forward/defender James Stewart he would be delisted.

Coach Brad Scott said, "He did joke that he'd just replay the vision from last year. He's come to a decision and we've been talking for a long period ... about his future and he's decided that he will retire ... Friday night ... will be an unbelievable opportunity for all Essendon people to ... celebrate what's been an incredible career. I said to the playing group that of all the great champions who have come through the Essendon Football Club, it's actually hard to think of something who has made such an impression on our supporter base and on our club on so many different levels. It's a celebration for 'Walla'." The turnaround from where he was to where he is now has been incredible but by his own admission next year is just a bridge too far for him, both physically and mentally. "

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Farewells to Four More

Jonas Pressures Watts (file photo)

Ahead of Round 24, four more players announced their retirements. Tom Jonas, Tom Hickey, Josh Bruce, and Jonathon Ceglar all indicated that their AFL careers were ending.

Port Adelaide captain Tom Jonas will retire at the end of the season. He has been in and out of the team this season. Jonas, 32, said in a club statement, “It’s been a fair roller coaster but for me there have been so many more ups than downs. You reflect on moments that maybe at the time were tough and challenging, exhausting or sad, but ultimately, they’re what makes you appreciate the good times and they’re what make you galvanize relationships and friendships with everyone that you spend time with along the way. The good thing about this for me is that the final chapter hasn’t been written ... For me it was about removing any distraction from the team with what we’ve got to look forward to in the month ahead (i.e., finals) ... ".

Coach Ken Hinkley, who has coached Jonas in 11 of his 13 seasons, said, “Tom has always given his all, whether that is on the field or off it ... He’s had to create his own path right from the start with enormous challenges along the way. While this season he has not always been first choice at selection, the way he has handled himself is the perfect example of his team-first attitude ... ".

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Two Giants Say Time's Up

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.

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Concussion Claims Crow

Seedsman to Kick (file photo)

Adelaide wingman Paul Seedsman has announced his retirement after 132 AFL games spread across 13 seasons. Seedsman, 31, has been on the inactive list for the past two seasons due to ongoing concussion symptoms. He suffered a bad head knock during the 2022 preseason training. He played 83 games for the Crows after 49 games at Collingwood. His decision to retire follows a recommendation from an independent AFL medical concussion panel that he no longer participate in contact sport. 

Seedsman said while he was disappointed his AFL career had come to an end, it was in the best interest of his health and wellbeing. 

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Concussion Claims Swan

McCartin vs Blues (Densham/AFANA)

Sydney's Paddy McCartin last played in early April due to concussion issues. He has been forced to retire after consulting with an independent AFL medical concussion panel. McCartin, 27, has suffered over a dozen concussions in his career and his playing days were thought to be over when he left St Kilda at the end of 2019 after playing 35 games. He spent some time in Sydney's VFL team before being added to the senior list in 2022. He managed just 28 games for the Swans in two seasons.

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Trent Cotchin and Isaac Smith Call Time

Trent Cotchin (Kim Densham/AFANA)

Just ahead of round 21, Tiger champion Trent Cotchin and Geelong champion Issac Smith announced their retirements. In speaking to his teammates, Cotchin reflected on the “authentic human connection” and “love” he had experienced during his career. Cotchin then said, “I am going to miss with all my heart the relationships, memories and experiences ... I accept reality ... My body is somewhat slowing down and is older than it once was. I found my life purpose at Richmond. I look to the future ... because of what I found here at Richmond and what Richmond people taught me ... creating an environment to help other realize and fulfill their potential not only inspired me but helped me to overcome my own fears ... I have always given my best and left no stone unturned ... ".

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Retirements, Round Two

Shuey Kicks (Dave Woodley for AFANA)

Four more players have announced their retirements: North Melbourne midfielder Ben Cunnington, Eagle captain Luke Shuey, Essendon ruckman Andrew Phillips, and Hawthorn ruckman Max Lynch. 

LUKE SHUEY

West Coast captain Luke Shuey will also retire at the end of the season, joining teammate Shannon Hurn. A string of hamstring injuries have curtailed his season and led to his decision, “As much as my mind wants to go on, my body won’t allow it and I have made the decision to retire at the end of this season. We have tried everything to get my body right ... I am incredibly grateful to the football club for the opportunities they have given me, the support I have received ... Being a part of a premiership means I will have a lifelong connection with 21 other blokes, but it doesn’t end there. The friendships I have made with players, coaches and staff over the last 15 years will remain with me forever ... ".

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The Departures Begin

Shannon Hurn (file photo)

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.

SHANNON HURN

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 ... ".

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Buddy Succumbs to Calf Injury

Lance "Buddy" Franklin (file photo)

After being subbed out of the Saturday game against Essendon in Round 20 with a calf injury, Lance "Buddy" Franklin decided to retire. He will not see out the season. It ends several weeks of speculation as to whether or not he would play on in 2024. Scans the next day revealed a six to eight week injury so it was doubtful that he would play again this year even if the Swans do get to the finals. Franklin, 36, leaves with a record of 354 games and 1066 goals to his name. He is only the sixth player in league history to kick over 1000 goals. He sits fourth in the standing for goals.

Drafted by Hawthorn in 2004, he played 182 games and kicked 580 goals for the Hawks and was a member of the 2008 and 2013 premiership teams. At the end of 2013, he said he wanted to move to Sydney, and it was expected that the newest club - GWS - would get him. When GWS dropped their interest, the Swans swooped and gave him a ten year contract worth $10 million. He played 172 games and kicked 486 goals for the Swans.

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Jack Ziebell Announces Retirement

Jack Ziebell (file photo)

North Melbourne great and former club captain Jack Ziebell announced he will retire at the end of the season. He said he could leave the game knowing he gave his all, " ... it’s always a hard decision to give up the thing you love the most, but ... I think my body will thank me for it. From the time I walked into the place I’ve felt right at home, and I’ve made some amazing lifelong friendships and connections. This is a special place and I’ll always cherish being part of the club. I’ve given everything I can ... but I think the time is right for me to pass the baton to others to take us forward. I truly believe we have the building blocks to eventually go far as a club. I think back to those finals wins in 2014 and '15 and how amazing the feeling around the club was and I know those times aren’t too far away. To our fans - you have been amazingly supportive ... I can’t thank you enough and I look forward to seeing the joy on your faces when we do turn things around ... ".

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