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Sheppard and Townsend Retire

Sheppard Tackled

In early December West Coast running defender Brad Sheppard and Suns defender Jacob Townsend announced their retirements just a few days apart. Sheppard, 30, was forced to retire due to ongoing concussion issues. He suffered several head knocks late in the season, the last coming in round 22. The Eagles believed he could still play but gave him time to decide. He sought medical advice over concerns about his future health and opted to retire.

Sheppard was drafted in 2009 and played 216 games. He was named All-Australian in 2015 and won the best clubman award in 2020. He was also a key member of the 2018 premiership side. Coach Adam Simpson said, "His career speaks for itself, over 200 games, it's just really sad that it finishes this way. He still had plenty of good footy left. He retires as a man with universal respect at every level of the football club ... ".

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Retirements 2021 Part One

Jong Appeals To Umpire

Just days after Round 20 concluded, three players announced their retirements - Collingwood's Chris Mayne, Eagle Dan Venables and Bulldog Lon Jong.

Defender Chris Mayne announced he would retire at the end of the season. in making the announcement, Mayne said, “The time is right, personally and professionally. From a family perspective, Britt and I have two young children and we want them to settle and share more time with our families in Perth. From a football perspective, I don’t feel that I can squeeze much more out of myself. I still love the game and want to continue trying to get a kick at some level next year but at the highest level I recognize it’s getting tougher, not easier.”

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Pie's Forced Retirement, Concussion Delisting

Langdon Tackled

Collingwood defender Tom Langdon has been forced to retire due to a chronic knee injury. Langdon, 26, was drafted in 2013 and played 89 games for the Magpies. A mainstay of the backline, he was named one of the best on ground in the 2018 Grand Final against the Eagles. He suffered severe cartilage damage just two months into the 2019 season and has not played since. General manager of football Geoff Walsh paid tribute to Langdon, “Tom played some wonderful football ... and it was a sad day when the reality of his premature retirement arrived.

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Eagles, Port Delistings

Sutcliffe Kicks For Dockers

In late October, West Coast delisted midfield rookie Hamish Brayshaw, forward Nic Reid, defender Francis Watson and rookies Anthony Treacy and Mitch O’Neill. Brayshaw, the younger brother of Melbourne's Angus and Fremantle's Andrew, was drafted in 2017. He played just one senior game, coming in Round 17 this year. He was delisted at the end of 2019  but added to the rookie list this year. Reid, was selected during the SSP early in the year and played three games. Watson was also drafted in 2017 and played one game in 2019 and two in 2020 before a late season knee injury ended his year.

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Eagles Destroy the Demons

Will the Eagles Win This Cup Next Week?

In front of the largest crowd for a sporting event in Western Australia history (59,608), the West Coast Eagles demolished the Melbourne Demons in a one sided contest that crushed the Demon faithful. It took Melbourne a full half of football before they scored their first goal of the match and left their supporters bereft at what might have been in 2018.

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Melbourne Ruffles Some Feathers

Demons Celebrate the Win

Apparently no one had read the script to the Melbourne Demons. They hadn’t beaten a team in the top eight all season and it was a West Coast Eagles home game, Optus Stadium is a fortress and at 75 degrees, it was supposed to be too hot for Melbourne teams to last four full quarters. All that mattered little when the siren sounded and the Demons put on a display worthy of finalists when they ran over the Eagles in an upset in the West.

From the very first moments it was clear that Melbourne had come to play. They were ferocious in their tackling and hunted the Eagles down in packs all over the ground. West Coast were rattled and started to make disposal errors that played right into Melbourne’s hands.

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