Veteran Gold Coast player Michael Rischitelli has retired as has Adelaide veteran Andy Otten, Essendon's David Myers, Alex Fasolo from Carlton, and veteran umpire Shane McInerney.
Rischitelli, 33, was originally drafted by Brisbane in 2003 and played 111 games with the Lions before crossing to Gold Coast to be a member of the inaugural team in 2011. His game tally after Round 23 is 243. During his time with the Lions, he was a Rising Star nominee in 2006 and won the club's best and fairest award in 2010. Rischitelli reflected on his time in the game, “I’ve loved every moment ...it's been an incredible journey ... I’ve experienced some fantastic moments and a couple of extremely tough times, but I’ve enjoyed the ride.”
General manager Jon Haines said, “Michael has been a fantastic leader for our young football club,
a role model and father figure for players throughout his nine seasons and influential in driving standards on and off the field ... Rischa has been relentless in his approach to help drive this club forward ... we thank Michael and his family for their contribution to the establishment of the Gold Coast Suns. He has been an integral part of our history ... ”.
Source: Thomas Beverley, Gold Coast Media Release
Adelaide defender Andy Otten has retired after 12 injury-plagued seasons and 109 games. Otten, 30, fought his way back from three knee reconstructions to play at the start of the 2017 season. He has spent much of the past two seasons playing in the SANFL where he has mentored the Crows' younger players. He was recalled for three games from Round 19 to Round 21 before going back to the SANFL. Otten did not play in Round 23, but could finish with a SANFL premiership, with the Crows well placed ahead of the finals. Otten was drafted in 2007 and played 2 games in his debut year. He had a breakout 2009 season which saw him finish second in the Rising Star Award.
Otten posted a message on the club website, "This jumper means the world to me as it resembles blood, sweat and tears, countless laughs, some amazing games, plus experiences and stories that will last a lifetime. Even though I have kind of known this year would be my last, saying and hearing the word retirement and admitting to yourself that the time has come is still tough to do. It has been one hell of a ride and I say that with a smile on my face, satisfied that I've given all I can to play in the AFL for 12 years ... I wouldn’t change any of it, because it’s made me the person I am today.”
Crows Head of Football Brett Burton paid tribute to Otten’s resilience, passion and care for his teammates, “Andy is the type of person that every footy club wants and needs. he has been able to perform strongly at both ends of the ground and his work ethic sets a great example for younger players ...".
Playing much of 2019 in the SANFL and working with younger players has given him a desire to go into coaching, “This year has been actually one of my most enjoyable years ... working with the coaches and caring and focusing on how the younger guys are developing ... I’m not limping to the finish line, I’m sprinting to the finish line, as it’s the only way I know how."
Source: afl.com.au, Mark Addinall, Adelaide Media Release
Essendon midfielder David Myers posted a letter to the Essendon website, announcing his retirement, saying he no longer had the drive to play. Myers, 30, has spent large parts of the season in the VFL after effectively dropping himself after the Bombers' narrow Round Eight loss to Sydney. Myers was drafted in 2007 but his 123 game career has been plagued with injuries. He told Bomber fans that it was time to make room for the next generation of players and concluded, "Football is a brutal game, and it requires you to give every part of yourself ... I have known for a while that I no longer carry the level of drive and motivation ... I know ... the time is right for me to step away from the game ... ".
Carlton's Alex Fasolo has retired after managing just three games for the Blues in 2019. Fasolo was originally drafted by Collingwood where he played 101 games. He crossed to Carlton as a free agent iat the end of 2018. Fasolo released a statement saying he was content with his decision and thanked both Carlton and Collingwood for giving him a chance.
He was Collingwood's leading goal kicker in 2016 but could not establish himself at Carlton. In his three appearances, he kicked just two goals. He payed Round 23 in the VFL.
Field Umpire Shane McInerney has announce has retirement. His last game was the Round 23 match between Carlton and Geelong. His debut game in 1994 was also a Carlton game and he has officiated 502 games. These include 26 finals, the 2004 and 2007 Grand Finals as well as several International Rules Series and the 2008 State of Origin game. Round 16 was game 496 for Shane, which saw him surpass Hayden Kennedy (495) to set a new games record for umpires. Kennedy set the record in 2011, retiring in August of that year.
AFL Head of Umpiring Grant Williams thanked McInerney for his outstanding contribution and dedication, “Shane’s contribution to the game and to the AFL Umpiring community over the past 25 years has been outstanding ... his record-breaking career and consistency across the years is a testament to his commitment ... Shane has worked extremely hard and dedicated a great deal of his time to the umpiring community and that is something we are very grateful for. A strong leader and ambassador for umpiring across all levels of the game, Shane will be greatly missed ... ".
Source:Lilly Skacej , AFL Media Release
Article last changed on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 - 3:58 PM EDT