Sydney premiership defender Nick Smith has announced his retirement on Wednesday, hanging up the boots after 13 years with the Swans.
Smith won a premiership with the club back in 2012, and was named All-Australian in 2014.
The 31-year-old hasn’t played since Round 21, 2018, after tearing his hamstring off the bone.
Smith has undergone multiple surgeries in a bid to make a return to the playing field, although the injury has gotten the better of him.
“From the moment Nick arrived at the Sydney Swans, we knew we had a special person,” Sydney coach John Longmire told the club’s website.
“Nick was a master of the small defender role. For over a decade at selection we just placed Nick’s name up on the whiteboard next to some of the best small-to-medium forwards that have ever played our game: Steve Johnson, Eddie Betts, Toby Greene, Robbie Gray, Stephen Milne, Luke Breust, Mark LeCras are some that come to mind. And who could forget his battles on the biggest home-and-away and finals stages with his old ex-school mate Cyril Rioli.
“There is no lonelier place to be than inside defensive 50m playing on these talents. Yet Nick’s strength of mind to overcome the biggest challenges was second to none. It’s a wonder that he ever slept on a Friday night!
“The Nick Smith that we all know behind closed doors is much, much more than this. Nick is highly respected by coaches and peers alike. First elected into the club’s leadership group in 2012, he is the epitome of what the Bloods are about. And for us, that’s as great a compliment as there is.”
Smith has played 211 games for the Swans, and was arguably one of the AFL’s best small defenders during the peak of his career.