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Curly Hampton

Adelaide midfielder Curly Hampton has been forced to retire due to vertigo. Hampton, 25, also said all the setbacks he has had over the past eight years caused him to lose his passion for playing. When announcing his decision, he went on to say, "The past few weeks have been particularly hard ... At times, it has been difficult to train and play but it has also affected my life away from football ...  I am confident of making a full recovery but I feel it is best to do that away from the pressures of the AFL industry. This is a good opportunity to focus on the other priorities in my life ... ". He suffered ankle and shoulder injuries in 2014 and a foot injury in 2016. 

Hampton played 12 games for the Crow after 51 in four years with GWS. He was a member of the Giants inaugural squad. Hampton managed just three games this season.

Crows coach Don Pyke said Hampton had previously shown signs of his struggles with the demands of the game, "From talking to him earlier in the year, it's been tough for him ... in terms of his motivation and drive ... It's a demanding game, and he's done it since he was just out of school ... It's sad and disappointing when a young man decides to finish his career ... ". Pyke praised Hampton for stepping aside to allow an opportunity for another player, "To his credit ... he was actually saying, 'I feel like I'm robbing someone of an opportunity if I stay ... ".

Hampton informed his teammates of his decision midweek and it came as shock to most of them. There was a lot of empathy for him as he is very well-liked at the club. Pyke concluded by saying there is, and will be plenty of support for Hampton.

In other news, veteran Fremantle Dockers Michael Johnson and Danyle Peace were informed ahead of Round 17 that they would not be offered contracts for next year. The club has opted to focus on youth and developing their crop of younger players. Johnson has spent the past five weeks in the WAFL with Peel Thunder while Pearce has played just three senior games this year. Coach Ross Lyon said Johnson, who has played 239 games, was probably the greatest Aboriginal player in Fremantle history. He described both players as "... incredibly good servants for the club ... ".Pearce has played 259 games for the club. Lyon is keen to give the pair a farewell game before the season is over. Johnson ran second in the club best and fairest in 2006, third in 2012-13 and played in the International Rules series in 2013. Pearce played in the International Rules series in 2006 and also won the Rising Star Award the same year.

On the injury front, there is good news regarding Docker Harley Bennell, who has been battling serious issues with his calves for the past several seasons. Although progress reports are good and he is moving well, the club is taking the cautious route. He has gotten some game time on a limited basis in the WAFL with no time frame for his return to the seniors, As Lyon said, " ... I'd like the potential to be delivered over six years and not six weeks ... We need to pick him at the right time when he's fit and in form, and there's probably a little bit to go there."

Bennell, a highly talented midfielder, was originally drafted by Gold Coast (selection two) in 2010 as a member of the Suns' inaugural squad. He played 81 games before returning home to WA at the end of 2015. Due to his calf problems, he has played just two senior games for the Dockers. 

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

Article last changed on Wednesday, July 18, 2018 - 9:22 PM EDT


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