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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

St Kilda forward Adam Schneider announced that the Round 22 game against Sydney would be his last. Schneider was originally drafted by Sydney and played 98 games and kicked 99 goals for the Swans 2003-2007 as a small forward and occasional midfielder.

He played in the Swans' 2005 Premiership and the losing Grand Final in 2006. He was traded to St Kilda at the end of 2007 along with teammate Sean Demptster. Schneider played a total of 228 games and kicked 259 goals. He played in the 2009 losing Grand Final side as well as both Grand Finals in 2010. Schneider had struggled with injuries in the past three seasons and was delisted at the end of 2014. The Saints added him to the rookie list for the 2015 season, but he was elevated back to the senior list ahead of Round One.

Schneider, 31, has the distinction of being just one of several current players - the others being Dempster and Hawk Shaun Burgoyne - to have played in five Grand Finals, the most of any other current day players. He said he was thankful for his time at both the Saints and Swans and that St Kilda's match against Sydney was the perfect opportunity to finish. Of his career he said, “I’ve been very fortunate to have represented two great clubs ... I’ve had some fantastic experiences, met a lot of wonderful people and am extremely grateful to have had the career I have had.”

Coach Alan Richardson praised Schneider for his leadership and contribution, saying “Adam is a tremendously skilled and hard-working player who has been a wonderful servant of both St Kilda and Sydney ... I have only coached Adam in the final two years of his career but ... found him to be a genuine leader ... both by example and also by instruction. At times he has been like another assistant coach on the field and has provided tremendous guidance for our young players".

Other honors for Adam Schneider: 2003 Rising Star nominee, 2006 International Rules, St Kilda 2008 preseason premiership

Source: Breanna Gallagher, St Kilda Media Release, AFL Record Season Guide

Brisbane's Brent Staker and Luke McGuane were forced into retirement before the end of the season due to injury.
Staker Spoils Gawn
Just ahead of Round 22, Brisbane utility Staker announced his immediate retirement due to injuries which prevented him from playing any senior games in 2015. Staker, 31, began his career at West Coast where he played 110 games and kicked 84 goals. He played in the losing 2005 Grand Final but was an emergency for the 2006 Premiership. After injuries restricted him to just six games in 2009 he was traded to Brisbane. His first season with the Lions was excellent, but the next years were all ruined by injuries - two knee reconstructions, a severe calf injury and stress fractures. He did manage six games in 2015 bringing his Brisbane tally to just 28 over five seasons. He said although it had been a challenge, he felt getting to 160 games was more than he had expected.

During the announcement, Staker was quick to laugh at the most famous incident of his career, when, as an Eagle, former Sydney Swan Barry Hall punched him, knocking him out. Hall was suspended for seven games for the punch. Staker holds no grudges. He said "Quick thank-yous, the first one ... is to Barry Hall ... Bazza's reassured me I've got a very strong right jaw, it's still intact. I appreciate it Barry for putting me on the map."

Another knee injury suffered at training just before Round 23 ended Luke McGuane's career after 11 years and 112 games.
McGuane Flies
McGuane, 28, said he had been keen to play on in 2016, but the mishap with his good knee told him his body had given up on him and that it would not withstand the rigors of another season.

McGuane started with the Tigers in 2005 where he played 105 games before joining Brisbane as a defender/forward as a delisted free agent at the end of 2013. His first season with the Lions was wrecked due to a knee injury after just three games and he played only four games, all of which came just prior to his latest and final setback.

Source: afl.com.au, AFL Record Season Guides

2015 is the last for Sydney defender Rhyce Shaw, who will hang up his boots at the end of the year.
Shaw Kicks
Through Round 23, his tally was 234 games for Collingwood and Sydney. Shaw, 33, said he didn't want to just drift out of football and let injuries catch up to him and he would like to be remembered as an average player who got lucky. He fell out of favor at Collingwood after nine seasons and 94 games. He admitted he had brought some of it upon himself, but turned it all around after joining the Swans and their famous "Bloods" culture which has a reputation for turning castoffs into stars. Shaw said, "I was playing pretty bad ... very inconsistent and my life wasn't great off the field ... probably making poor decisions and then coming up here and being part of a footy cub that wrapped their arms around me and brought me into their team and the culture." He credits Paul Roos for giving him confidence. He recalled a game against St Kilda in which he felt he had played poorly and was disappointed with his performance. He remembers Roos telling him a few days later that as long he was coach, Shaw would never be dropped. Shaw said of that, "I'd never heard that from anyone. I knew he couldn't keep his word if I was playing terrible but just to have that confidence in me, that was the first time it happened. I took it from there, it helped my career, I thank him a lot." And Shaw has repaid that faith not only under Roos, but current coach John Longmire who said Shaw was a "terrific football person ... Humble, loyal, selfless and very funny ... a great club man." Longmire also praised Shaw for his consistency over the years as well as the guidance he has provided to the younger players and said he was very popular among the players.

Shaw's retirement brings an era to an end for Collingwood. He is the last of Collingwood's draftees from the 1990's as well as the last member of the 2003 Grand Final side which lost to Brisbane.That game was just his 23rd. His first game for the Magpies was the New Year's Eve Millennium game in 1990 against Carlton. In that game, an 18 year old Brendan Fevola mastered the Collingwood defense with 12 goals.

Honors: Sydney Premiership 2012; 2nd in Sydney’s Best and Fairest 2009, Sydney’s Best Clubman 2011

Source: afl.com.au, mygc.com.au

Tiger Chris Knights has retired after
Knights Marks
enduring a horror run of injury in the past three seasons. Knights, who played 96 games with Adelaide before crossing to Richmond at the end of 2012, missed most of the following season due to a knee injury.Complications with the knee injury and then a quad injury restricted him to just one more senior game in Round Three this year. A hamstring injury which required surgery ended his year.

Richmond football manager Dan Richardson posted a statement at the club's website. "It's a really sad ending ... He has had horrible luck with injuries ... it's unfair for him to have to bow out in this fashion." Richardson praised Knights for his professionalism and determination as he tried to overcome the setbacks and return to playing, saying he was an excellent role model throughout all the rehabilitation and concluded "He will be rightly remembered as highly-talented player who stopped at nothing to get the best out of himself."

An emotional Knights spoke of how grateful he was for the support and care he was given throughout his difficult time as a Tiger. "It's been a tough three years ... I couldn't have got through it without the help of everyone ... especially the players and the support staff."

Tiger Ricky Petterd retired after just two senior games in 2015 due to a serious foot injury which required surgery.
Petterd Kicks
Petterd, 27, started with Melbourne where he played 54 games 2007-12 before being delisted and picked up as a rookie by the Tigers. He played a further 30 games as a utility who could play forward, defense or a wing. Petterd said he had considered retirement before the injury and that it simply had not healed properly despite the best efforts of doctors and therapists. He said he went for a run for the first time in late August and still pulled up a bit sore. He said he had felt lucky to have played as long as he had.

Source: afl.com.au, AFL Record Season Guides

Gold Coast midfielder Andrew Raines has retired due to one too many injuries, the latest one being a degenerative knee.
Raines Looks Up
Raines, 29, managed just six games with the Suns this year. He began his career as a defender with the Tigers and played 56 games 2004-09 but his last two years with Richmond were marred by injury and he played only five games in that time. He was then traded to Brisbane, the club his father Geoff had played for. He played in the midfield for the Lions and was sometimes used as a tagger. He played 67 games for Brisbane before being delisted at the end of 2014. Gold Coast then added him to their rookie list.

Raines said of the knee "It's been through its battles ... with constant operations ... time's come and enough is enough." He said he did not want to "limp out of the game" but instead wanted to leave still feeling good and be able to do other activities in his life. The 2006 Rising Star nominee and International Rules representative hopes to stay involved with the Suns in some capacity off the field.

Source: afl.com.au, AFL Record Season Guides

The game against Hawthorn in Round 23 was Andrew Carrazzo's last as a player, but not his last in the AFL.
col_car_r12_0194
The veteran of 194 games has decided to join the ranks of the umpires. Carrazzo, 31, was originally a rookie with Geelong for two seasons, winning the Cats' VFL best and fairest award. He failed to break into the Cats' senior team and crossed to Carlton as a rookie in 2004 and made his debut late in the year. In 2008, he joined the team's leadership group.

Football manager Andrew McKay said he would be missed, Andrew is one of those players you know would bleed blue, he put his heart and soul into everything ... we have been privileged to have him ... He has always shown tremendous leadership ... on and off the field, especially as a mentor to our younger players."

ANDREW CARRAZZO
Games: 194
Goals: 48
Honors: John Nicholls Medal as Best and Fairest 2007
Preseason premierships 2005, 2007
Best Clubman 2008
Carlton Life Member, awarded 2011
Leadership group 2008-2014
Carlton vice-captain 2013-2014

Source: Loretta Johns, Carlton Media Release, sen.com.au

Round 23 brought to an end the career of Demon Daniel Cross after the club opted not to offer him a new contract.
DDH_3889.JPG
The club has however offered Cross an off-field role in development and rehabilitation. Cross played 39 games for the Demons after crossing from the Bulldogs at the end of 2013 where he played 210 games. He won the club's Best and Fairest award in 2008. Perhaps one his best games came in Round 22 when he gathered 39 possessions.

Melbourne football manager Josh Mahoney said Cross had been an outstanding for the club. Cross was recruited to the Demons in the hope he could offer the young side some leadership and the club says he had exceeded expectations. In addressing his teammates he urged them to do everything they could to help lift the side. "It is a privileged existence that we live as footballers and athletes and certainly not one I've taken for granted ... I was never the most talented or fast ... but I wanted to make sure that every single day of every single week that I wasn't satisfied until I improved myself ... and was on the right path to help my team succeed. Unfortunately fairy tales don't happen that often ... but I'm very proud of the story that I've written."

His final game in Round 23 came to end when he fearlessly ran back with the flight of the ball and crashed to the turf unconscious. He regained consciousness and managed a wave to the appreciative crowd as he was stretchered off. He walked back out of the rooms to the bench to watch the final few minutes and celebrate with his teammates before being chaired off the ground.

Cross has a degree in sports science and has been offered a position in Melbourne's sports department. However, he said he would take a few weeks to decide on his future career move.

Source: afl.com.au

Article last changed on Monday, September 07, 2015 - 10:12 AM EDT


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