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McDonald-Tipungwuti Back? (file photo)

Roster changes in the leadup to the AFL draft later this month continued at Gold Coast, Essendon, and Adelaide. In early November, inaugural Sun Rory Thompson announced his retirement citing ongoing knee issues as the reason. Thompson, 31, played 106 games for the Suns and leaves as the longest serving player in the club's short history. He was a local zone selection for the club and was one of only four players from the Gold Coast region selected for their inaugural 2011 season.

Two knee reconstructions disrupted his career, and he made a comeback early this season after almost four years on the sidelines. In making the announcement, Thompson said, “It’s been such a long journey with so many ups and downs and wonderful people ... I’m super grateful to the Suns for giving me that opportunity so many years ago as a young kid and having stuck with me all this time, it’s pretty hard to put into words what that means to me ... Towards the end of last year it was getting hard to back up games and keep my body moving and it just felt like the right time ... I ... didn’t think I would get drafted, so to go to where I am now after 14 years, I’m very proud of myself and the work I’ve put in and very grateful to the people that have helped me get this far.”

Thompson debuted in 2011 and had a breakout season in 2013 polling well in the best and fairest count. He was also named most improved player and won the most professional award. General Manager Wayne Campbell said Thompson would leave a lasting legacy, “Rory is one of the most respected players at the club and should be proud of everything he has achieved ... He’s faced a lot of adversity ... commitment and determination to bounce back ... can only be admired ... ". Rory will continue to have a role with the club and we look forward to his involvement with the SUNS going forward.”

The Crows delisted Paul Seedsman and Andrew McPherson, but have committed to redrafting both as rookies.

Retired Bombers Conor McKenna And Andrew McDonald-Tipungwuti, often called "Tippa" are both eyeing a return to AFL football. McKenna, 26, played 79 games between 2015-2020, before choosing to retire and move back to Ireland. "Tippa" , 29, last played an AFL game in late 2021. His retirement may have due in part of the death of a cousin. He played several VFL games in 2022. He retired in 2022 for personal and family reasons but has accepted one year contract. McKenna's path isn't as clear cut since both Brisbane and St Kilda are interested in him.

Source: Josh Cheadle, Gold Coast Media Release, Reece Homfray, Adelaide Media Release, Celie Hay, Essendon Media Release,

Article last changed on Monday, November 14, 2022 - 1:14 PM EST


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