In the last two weeks, three of AFL’s biggest star names – Nick Riewoldt, Sam Mitchell and Matt Priddis have announced they are hanging up the boots at the end of the season.
Between them they have played a total of 891 games, won two Brownlow Medals and earned 12 club best and fairest awards.
Brownlow medal recipients, Mitchell and Priddis, are both leaving West Coast Eagles with some impressive statistics.
Mitchell, currently the third-oldest player in the competition, has the fifth-highest disposals (8529) in the history of the game, received the equal most amount of Brownlow votes (220) and won four premierships with Hawthorn before moving to the Eagles at the end of last year.
The 34-year-old will go down as one of the greatest ever Hawks and one of greatest players to ever play the game.
Riewoldt, the longest serving captain of St Kilda, will leave the team after 333 games, 714 career goals (21st on AFL all-time list) and six best and fairest awards. Riewoldt will also be remembered as one of the greatest players to wear the red, white and black.
And Priddis, who has played 235 games with West Coast and won the Brownlow in 2014 after receiving the club best and fairest a year earlier.
All three players gave similar reasons for their retirement.
“I feel like the time is right,” Mitchell said.
“My mind is keeping up with the game at the moment but that wont last forever”.
Riewoldt, the fifth-oldest current player, also explained the reality of his age and his body as the main factors of his retirement.
“When it’s all melted down the one thing we’re left with is reality, and that reality is that I got to do something I love, play a sport a love with a club I that I absolutely love for 17 years,” he said.
“And while the 10-year-old boy in me would love for that to last forever, the reality is it’s time for me to step aside.”
32-year-old Priddis also said it is “a good time to go out”.
“I probably felt my standards were probably dropping and there’s guys that can probably do a little bit better than me,” he said.
But all three players said they are looking forward to finishing the season strongly.
Sam Mitchell career statistics:
- Recruited with pick No. 36 in the 2001 National Draft
- 323 AFL games (Hawthorn 307, West Coast 16)
- 2012 Brownlow Medal
- Four time premiership player (2008, 13′, 14′, 15′)
- Five time Hawthorn best and fairest winner (2006, 09′, 11′, 12′, 16′)
- Three time All-Australian (2011, 13′, 15′)
- Hawthorn captain 2008-2010
- AFL Rising Star 2003
Nick Riewoldt career statistics:
- Recruited with pick No.1 in the 2000 National Draft
- 333 AFL games
- Six time St Kilda best and fairest (2002, 04′, 06′, 07′, 09′, 14′)
- AFL Players Association MVP 2004
- Four time St Kilda leading goal kicker (2008, 09′, 13′, 14′)
- Five time All-Australia (2004, 06′, 08′, 09′, 14′)
- St Kilda captain 2005, 2007-2016
- AFL Rising Star 2002
Matt Priddis career statistics:
- Recruited with pick No.31 in the 2006 Rookie Draft
- 325 AFL games
- West Coast best and fairest 2013
- Two time Ross Glendinning Medalist (2011, 16′)
- Brownlow Medal 2014
- All-Australian 2015