MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 09: Cyril Rioli of the Hawks celebrates a goal during the 2016 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 09, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Four-time Hawthorn premiership player Cyril Rioli has announced his reitrement.

Rioli recently returned from personal leave, after going back to Darwin to spend time with his family.

The 28-year-old told teammates on Wednesday morning of his decision to retire.

“The decision to retire from football is something that I have thought long and hard about over the past 12 months. I’ve weighed everything up and I am confident the decision I’ve made is the right one for me and my family,” Rioli told hawthornfc.com.au.

“Football has been my life but it’s always been difficult being away from home. Now is the right time to go home and spend more time with friends and family. 

“I love the Hawthorn Football Club and I cannot thank them enough for the opportunities they’ve given me and the way they’ve embraced me and my family over the past 11 years. 

“I can walk away from the game having achieved everything I could have ever dreamed of and I’m forever grateful for the opportunities I have received.

“I’d like to thank the Hawthorn fans for all their support over the years, it has been an honour to play in front of you each week.  

“I’d also like to thank my manager, Adam Ramanauskas from TLA Worldwide, for all the support he has have given my family and I throughout my career.

“Lastly, thank you to my wife Shannyn and all my family, whose support and sacrifice has made it possible for me to live out my childhood dream. 

“I’ll always be a Hawthorn person and I look forward to seeing what the boys can achieve over the rest of the year and beyond.”

Rioli has played 189 games for the Hawks, and kicked 275 goals in his career.

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The livewire forward won flags in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2015, and took home the Norm Smith Medal in 2015.

He was also a three-time All-Australian.