Former Sydney and Adelaide forward and current media personality Ryan Fitzgerald was a guest on Fox Footy’s BOB on Tuesday night, and spoke in depth about the time he knew his career was over.
Fitzgerald suffered multiple injuries during his three seasons at Sydney, and following his first knee reconstruction, he was traded back to Adelaide to revive his career.
He then played eight games for the Crows before wrecking his knee again, which marked the end of his AFL journey.
‘Fitzy’ spoke at length about the end of season meeting with coach Gary Ayres and football manager John Reid, and told Bob Murphy he tried to bet on himself one last time, but the Crows just couldn’t give him another chance.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to do, all I wanted to do was play 200 games and play for the next 10 years,” Fitzgerald told BOB in an interview that aired on Tuesday.
“(Sydney) traded me to Adelaide and I did my knee again.
“I knew as soon as I was coming off the ground I said ‘that’s it, I’m not going to get another contract’.
“So I rehabbed that last half of the year, waiting for that phone call from (former Adelaide coach Gary) Ayresy and (then-football manager) John Reid from Adelaide and I got it.
“I still remember John Reid said ‘Fitzy, mate, when we traded you in and got you over here, you were 10 to one to make it mate, and we really believed in ya. Now, with you’re body, you’re 150 to 1’.
“I got my wallet out, got out 10 bucks and I said ‘Reidy, I’ll put 10 bucks on myself because I reckon I can do it’ and he said, ‘nah … that’s it mate, we can’t go again’ and that was it. (I) got up, walked out, career over.
“I always thought that (football) was the only thing I was ever good at. Footy was everything in my life and then it’s over.”