by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
Adelaide veteran Graham Johncock announced his retirement just ahead of Round 15, saying his body could no longer handle the rigors of AFL football. Johncock has played just two games this season, the last the Round 3 Showdown against Port Adelaide. Johncock, 30, has struggled with knee, back and ankle problems since last year. He played only 11 games in 2012. General Manager Phil Harper praised Johncock for his consistency and durability, pointing out his top five finishes in the club's Best and Fairest on six occasions. Johncock, with 227 games to his name, ranks ninth on the club's games list and 11th on the games list of indigenous players. He was awarded life membership to the Crows in 2011.
Johncock declined a farewell game, saying he did not want a "gift" game, believing that games had to be earned. Nor did he believe he could perform at his best. Not only was he struggling to overcome injuries, he said the speed of the game and his battle with skinfold fitness was also getting harder. He acknowledged the supporters in saying, "Walking down the street people keep asking, `What's happening? ... That means to me that people genuinely care ... and I really appreciated that." He also said he was happy with the career he had, never dreaming he would play over 200 games. He did admit that not making it to a Grand Final was disappointing. He played in losing Preliminary Finals in 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2012.