The Adelaide Crows have delisted Riley Knight, Patrick Wilson and Ayce Taylor. Knight, 25, was drafted in 2013 and played 55 games. Wilson, 25, was drafted in 2018 and played just two senior games but none this year. Taylor was added to the list during the preseason supplemental selection period but never played a senior game. Wilson, while playing in the SANFL, won two best and fairest awards.
Hawthorn defender Conor Glass has decided to retire from the AFL and return home to Ireland to continue his university studies and return to Gaelic football for County Derry. Glass joined the Hawks at the end of the 2015 season as an International Category B rookie. He went on to become the first Irishman to represent Hawthorn when he made his debut in 2017 and played 21 AFL games. General Manager Graham Wright said, “Conor has ... been totally committed to his AFL career ... While he will be missed ... the pull home has always been there for Conor and we fully support his decision ...".
Winger Ricky Henderson has also called time after a knee injury restricted him to just seven games in 2020. Henderson, 32, was working in sports administration with the hope of playing basketball when he was spotted by an Adelaide recruiter at an NBL talent camp. He was drafted by the Crows as a rookie in 2008 and elevated to the senior list in 2010. He joined Hawthorn as a delisted free agent at the end of 2016. He played 90 games with the Crows and a total of 69 for the Hawks. Henderson said he enjoyed his time as a Hawk, “... I arrived, I loved the change Hawthorn provided and the environment at the club ...”.
Coach Alastair Clarkson praised Henderson, “Ricky has been on a pretty incredible footy journey, over his 12 years in the AFL, he has ridden the ups and downs of the game with class and professionalism. He was quick to become a vital cog in our game during his time at the Hawks and his 2019 season, in particular, is something he should be very proud of ...".
Port Adelaide's Jack Watts, who has not played all year due to serious leg injury, has retired. He said the mental and physical toll of trying to recover as a major factor in his decision. Seen as a precocious talent, Watts was the number one draft pick taken by Melbourne in 2008. Watts, 29, played just two games in 2019 before sufferings a badly broken leg and dislocated ankle. He played 152 games with the Demons but was heavily scrutinized with many Demon fans believing he did not live up to the hype of being a top draft selection. He was traded to Port at the end of 2017 and played 21 games with the Power.
His 2019 was marred by several incidents. Early in the year lewd text messages he allegedly sent to a woman were leaked online. Shortly after that, a video emerged of Watts snorting a legal menthol-based powder from a woman's chest at the Oktoberfest in Munich.
In a statement Watts said, "I have been thinking long and hard about my future for a while and contemplating retirement. Since my injury, I feel my body has let me down and I have been struggling with the physical and mental requirements of getting back to the level of fitness that is required ... It feels like the right decision for me ... I feel lucky to have had 12 years ... while there have been some challenges, there have also been some amazing memories both at Melbourne and Port Adelaide. I'm not sure what the future holds ... but I'm looking forward to some time away from the limelight."
Coach Ken Hinkley said Watts was misunderstood by the wider football community, "We all know Jack's football ability, and we would have liked to have seen him on the field a lot more for our club ... People might not realize just how important and loved he is around our playing group because of his character. Jack always has a way of lifting everyone's spirits, even when things weren't going so well for him in the last couple of years."
General Manager Chris Davies described Jack Watts as an "amazing individual" and praised his impact at the club, saying he leaves the club in a at better position than when he arrived. Davies explained how the decision played out, praising Watts for his selflessness, “We returned from Queensland earlier in the week and Jack asked for a catch-up with both Ken and I. In fairness we’d been talking to Jack and his manager Paul Connors ... It became clear that Jack was ready to move on ... He battled through this year. We tried to remain as positive as we possibly could for him and with him but I think the physical and mental toll took a toll and he’s made this decision now.”
Davies said it was an emotional meeting with Watts experiencing, “When you look at Jack’s career, he hasn’t spent one minute of those 12 years not under the spotlight and when you’ve spent that amount of time with scrutiny on you - some that he’s obviously brought upon himself but the majority of it because of where he was picked in the draft ... He knew that the time was right to move on and he’s left the club in a better spot than he found it ... You guys (the media) only really get to see him as a player. Jack Watts is an amazing individual who has brought an enormous amount of energy and enthusiasm to our group ... He’s been fantastic for our team and ... he leaves our club in a far better place ... and our club ... is indebted to Jack for making a selfless decision right now, but also for the work that he’s put in for us.”
Davies also said Watts had been close to a return and leaves with a year left on his contract, “At various points he got close to a level of fitness ... but the reality is the physical toll that took in even getting to that point and the mental toll was significant ... having gone through a similar situation myself with my own sporting career – which wasn’t nearly the equal of what Jack’s was ... you get to a point where you know it’s the right time.”
Davies said Watts should be remembered for his talent and his last game against his former team Melbourne in last year's first round showed his immense ability, “He was a supremely talented player who read the game amazingly well. What was abundantly clear to us was that not only did he read the game well, he was a fantastic teammate to have around our group ... You don’t play 170-odd games by chance. He fought through adversity on a number of occasions. His last game ... was probably his best one for us ... ".
The Demons have delisted Kyle Dunkley, Corey Wagner and Josh Wagner. Dunkley was picked up in the midseason draft in 2019, recruited as a rookie from the VFL's Footscray team. He managed six games this year. He is the brother of Bulldog Josh. Wagner, 22, was originally drafted by North Melbourne in 2015 but played just eight games before being delisted at the end of 2017. He then joined the Casey Demons for the 2018 season where he played well enough for Melbourne to draft him as a rookie during the Supplemental Signing Period. He played 11 games in 2019 but none in 2020. His brother Josh was drafted as a rookie in 2016 and later elevated to the senior list. He played just two games in 2020 for a total of 42.
Collingwood premiership defender Ben Reid has announced his retirement. time on his distinguished career. Reid, 31, made the announcement as the team was preparing to head to Perth for their Elimination Final against the Eagles. Reid said 2020 was going to be his final year anyway, but just days out from the trip to Perth, he had a minor setback and opted to give up his spot for a "... younger player "... someone with their future ahead of them.”
Of his retirement and Collingwood, he said, “In a sense, I grew up at Collingwood and I’m just so thankful for all that I experienced, all that I learnt and the many great people I met. It was just a wonderful time in my life that I wish could go on forever but, of course, it never can and my time has come ... Thanks to the Collingwood Army for their fanaticism and voice. Thanks to the many teammates, coaches, friends and family who travelled with me over the years. Whatever I was able to do it was with your help.”
Reid was a top 10 selection in 2006 and quickly lived up to expectations. By the age of 21 in 2010 he was a premiership player and earned All-Australian selection the following year. Over the past seven seasons, he has battled injuries and his last game this year was in August to bring his tally to 152.
GM Geoff Walsh said, "Reidy has been one of the most popular players in the Collingwood change rooms for almost 15 years which, I hope, is something he treasures as much as his fine career and all that he achieved. We will miss him. He is a good one.”
Bulldog forward Tory Dickson has retired. Dickson, 33, played 114 games and was a key player in their 2016 premiership win. He kicked 40 goals that year, including 10 across the finals series, with hauls of four in the preliminary final against GWS and three in the Grand Final.
Dickson was drafted in 2011 as a mature-age recruit at the age of 24 after playing for Frankston and Bendigo in the VFL. He He won the Chris Grant Best First Year Player Award in 2012, Brad Johnson Best Team Player Award in 2015 and featured in Footscray’s 2014 VFL premiership. He was one of the best set-shot kicks for goal in the competition, finishing his career with 181 goals, 61 behinds. His career best was 50.12 in 2015.
Of his retirement, Dickson said it was the right time and said he was proud of his achievements. He continued, “For a long time, I didn’t think I would get to play one AFL game and to have played more than 100 games ... and contribute to our 2016 premiership success was incredible. The opportunity the Western Bulldogs have given me is something I will always be grateful for. Making the decision to retire has been incredibly difficult, but I believe it is the right one. There have been many people who have helped me along way ... My family have been an incredible support, and this year has been challenging on many fronts, including my son Riley being back in Melbourne. To all the coaches, support staff and Bulldogs fans who have been part of my journey, thank you. It has been a great ride.”
Football Director Chris Grant said, “Tory has made a significant impact at our club ... His story is one of real perseverance. Having been overlooked in multiple drafts, Tory continued to work hard and finally earned his opportunity on an AFL list. On the field, his skills ... have been clear for all to see, and his impact across our 2016 premiership year and successful finals campaign was profound. Equally important has been his off-field contribution, as a player his teammates love to play alongside, and in particular, as a great club person ... ".
Sources: Club Media Releases - Ian Shuttleworth (ADE), Megan Lechucki (COL), Megan Croucher (HAW), Matthew Goodrope (PA), Nick Duxson (WB), espn.com, portadelaidefc.com.au, AFL Record Season Guide
Article last changed on Friday, January 15, 2021 - 12:07 AM EST