BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 26: Andrew Swallow of the Kangaroos is tackled during the round 23 AFL match between the Brisbane Lions and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at The Gabba on August 26, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Former North Melbourne captain Andrew Swallow has announced his retirement after 224 games for the Kangaroos.

After joining the club with the 43rd pick in the 2005 AFL Draft, Swallow enjoyed a 12-year career with North, and averaged 20.7 disposals, 6.6 tackles and 5.2 clearances per game over his career.

Swallow captained the club for five season between 2012-2016, and has won three Syd Barker Medals, and is one of only nine North Melbourne players to have three best and fairest awards to their name.

“It was a very tough decision to make and it’s with a heavy heart that I’ve chosen to end my AFL career today,” Swallow told nmfc.com.au.

“I’ve been fortunate to have had a 12-year career with North and I owe a lot to the club for investing in me not only as a player, but also as a person.

“After speaking with my wife, Elise, and weighing up my future and that of our young family, we’re looking for a new direction and challenge.

“It’s been an incredible journey, but it’s now time to move on to the next chapter of our lives and I’m really excited for what lies ahead for us.”

North Melbourne coach Brad Scott praised his club’s former skipper, and told the club’s website not many other professionals have displayed the heart that Swallow has during his time at Arden Street.

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“Andrew has been an absolute pleasure to coach and was one of those players that made life in the coach’s box much easier,” Scott said.

“There have been few players as brave and determined as Andrew. He was an inspirational and dedicated leader that led by example with his tenacity, uncompromising attack on the ball and man, and his professionalism both on and off the field.

“No matter the situation, we could always rely on Andrew to get the job done.

“He had little regard for his own well-being at times and did everything in his power to win the ball for the team or force an opposition turnover.”