The highly decorated, 15-year, 305-game career of Geelong champion Jimmy Bartel has come to an end with Bartel announcing his retirement during the October trade period. While Bartel said he felt he had more to give, he "understood the bigger picture" and respected the direction in which the club wanted to move.He is just the fourth Cat to reach 300 games. Of his 305 games, 213 were victories and he was at the forefront of Geelong's incredible run of success. He is one of just two players to have achieved 300 games or more, three premierships, a Brownlow Medal and Norm Smith Medal (best on ground in a Grand Final). He also won the Jim Stynes Award for community service in 2016 for his efforts to raise awareness of and money to combat domestic violence.
Bartel said he had "played out every dream" in playing with his hometown club and that the players around him made it fun and made him a better man and said the success the Cats enjoyed was an incredible experience. He thanked his family, the club, teammates, staff, his junior clubs and the supporters for their support. In a nod to the fans he said, "... Some of my greatest memories will be of being on the outer wing and hearing you chant my name. Sincerely, thank-you. You made me feel at home for 15 years." He said he was looking forward to attending games to watch the younger players coning through.
Coach Chris Scott also paid tribute to the courageous Bartel, "Jimmy is the embodiment of what a footballer should be ... He was fearless, could play multiple roles ... and was adaptable in a changing game. Jimmy will rightly go down as an icon of the Geelong Football Club, and he has left a lasting mark on all those that he has played with ... Jimmy was always prepared and ... he was at his best in the biggest moments and the biggest games.”
Debuted Round 1 2002 vs Essendon
Premierships 2007, 2009, 2011
Preseason premierships 2006, 2009
2007 Brownlow Medal
2011 Norm Smith Medal
2016Jim Stynes Award
Played in a club record 28 finals
Kicked 202 goals
In other Geelong news, the recently retired Corey Enright has been appointed to work as a development and transition coach. He has been working with Geelong's younger players for the past few seasons. Coach Chris Scott is delighted that Enright will embark on his coaching career with the Cats, saying Enright has a "... great football brain ..." from which both the players and coaches will benefit. Scott also said that Enright had shown over the years an ability to " ... connect with the players and to understand and teach the game ... ".
Enright retired after playing a club record 332 games in a decorated career. He was a key member of three premiership teams, twice won the best & fairest and earned six All Australian selections. Enright is the 13th former Geelong player from the past decade to embark on a coaching career.
Source: Kevin Diggerson, Geelong Media Release
Round 23 was the 353rd and last game for Docker Matthew Pavlich. He also kicked his 700th goal in that game.
In September, North Melbourne made the tough call in not offering Brent Harvey another contract. They also delisted Michael Firrito, Nick Dal Santo and Drew Petrie. Harvey, the new league games record holder (432) will join his brother Shane at North Heidelberg. Firrito 275 games) also announced his retirement shortly afterward. Petrie (316 games) has not yet announced his retirement while Dal Sanrto (322 games) is keen to play on
Sydney forward Ben McGlynn announced his retirement after the Grand Final. He played 171 games and kicked 195 goals for the Swans. He has joined St Kilda as an assistant coach.
Port Adelaide defender Alipate Carlile also announced his retirement after wrist, hip and knee injuries restricted him to 16 games in the past two years and just 2 games in 2016. He played 167 games and kicked five goals.
Collingwood's Brent McCaffer and Alan Toovey finished their careers in the VFl and retired at the end of the season. McCaffer played 77 games and Toovey played 159 games. including the 2010 Grand Final.
Collingwood's Dane Swan also called it quits after missing most of the season with a serious foot/ankle injury.
Western Bulldog Jed Adcock retired at the end of the season. Adcock played 206 games with the Lions 2004-2015 and was rookie-listed by the Bulldogs and played seven games. He was not included in the Grand Final team.
Sydney's Ted Richards, originally drafted by Essendon, played 33 games with the Bombers before coming to Syndey where he played a further 228 games. He managed just 8 games in 2016 but was a member of the Swans' 2012 premiership side.
Adam Cooney: 219 games with the Western Bulldogs 2004-2014, crossed to Essendon to play a further 31 games to bring his tally to 250.
Troy Chaplin played 140 games with Port Adelaide before joining Richmond for a further 75 games. Injuries restricted him to just eight games in 2016.
Adelaide's Nathan van Berlo was restricted to just three games in 2016 due to an early season foot injury. He played a total of 205 games with the Crows.
Three-club journeyman Farren Ray started with the Bulldogs in 2003 and played 75 games before being traded to St Kilda for another 130 games. He was rookie listed by the Kangaroos in 2015 but injuries restricted him to just four games in 2016
Carlton's Andrew Walker retired after 202 games.He has been plagued by chronic knee problems for the past two seasons and played just 11 games in 2016.
His mark (catch of the ball) in 2011 was nominated for Mark of the Year but lost to Collingwood's Andrew Krakouer. In announcing his retirement, Walker joked that while Krakouer's grab was good he reckoned his was better. At the time, the video of Walker's catch went viral with one video's caption asking if something like that should be allowed in the NFL.
Brisbane's Daniel Merrett notched his 200th game in the final round of the season. A stalwart in defense, he was swung forward at times when the club was decimated by injuries.
Matthew Stokes was a Geelong stalwart through the midfield and up forward in 189 games including the 2007 and 2011 premiership sides. He announced his retirement at the end of 2015 but came back for one more season for the Bombers as one of the replacements for the 12 banned Bombers. Played 11 games in 2016 to reach the 200 game milestone.
Carlton defender Michael Jamison was restricted to just five games in 2016 for a total of 150 games.
Xavier Ellis played 86 games with the Hawks 2006-12 before being traded to West Coast where he managed a further 34 games. He played in Hawthorn's 2008 premiership win. He joined the Eagles as an unrestricted free agent. Played just two games in 2016 due to a series of soft-tissue injuries.
Eagle Patrick McGinnity was a fringe player for nine seasons and 93 games.
Kane Lucas began his career at Carlton in 2010 and played 42 games in five seasons. The Blues delisted him at the end of 2014 and the Eagles added him to their rookie list but could not break into the strong midfield senior side.
Ruckman Cameron Wood played 16 games with Brisbane 2005-2007, crossed to Collingwood, where he played 48 games 2008-2012. He played for Williamstown in the VFL in 2013 before being picked up in the 2013 rookie draft by Carlton.
After playing for Williamstown in the VFL in 2013, he was recruited by Carlton via the rookie draft in 2013, before playing 24 games with the Blues. Shouldered much of the ruckwork in the absence of the injured Matthew Kreuzer and Robbie Tarrant in 2015 but was unable to add to his tally of 88 games in 2016. The running defender played 74 games since his debut in 2010.
Trent West played only 54 games for the Cats 2006-2013 and sought better opportunities elsewhere and crossed to Brisbane to be the backup ruckman to Stefan Martin. Missed much of the 2014 season due to a knee reconstruction but came back in 2015 for two games.He managed only four games in 2016 saying he still felt hampered by the knee. He played a total of 70 games.
Source: Kevin Diggerson, Geelong Media Release, afl.com.au, theage.com.au, heraldsun.com.au, adelaidenow.com.au, AFL Record Season Guide, AFL Grand Final Record, Stephen Reilly, Collingwood Media Release
Article last changed on Tuesday, December 20, 2016 - 1:23 AM EST