Premiership coach Mick Malthouse suggests ageing stars of the AFL should look to call time on their careers a year earlier than planned in favour of calling it quits whilst on a high, per The Herald Sun.
While the AFL is set to farewell a rosters-worth of names at the end of the season, Malthouse noted in his Herald Sun column that there could and should be a few that are better off hanging up the boots a year or two earlier than expected.
“There is a terrible term used in sport, use-by date, but sometimes the athlete is the last to work out that when pace, durability, reflexes and sharpness of mind start to diminish, then time has caught up with you,” Malthouse writes.
Headlined in his list of soon-to-be departing players, Malthouse names close friend and former player Heath Shaw as one name to pull the curtain on their career in 2020.
The former Tigers premiership player suggested Shaun Burgoyne could be facing the end with Hawthorn planning a rebuild despite his overall ability at 37, while former Demons skipper Nathan Jones, Crow Bryce Gibbs and Port veteran Justin Westhoff should look to call time as they struggle for selection.
The 2020 season has been relentless on the AFL’s playing group, with congested fixtures riddling the league with injuries.
Many players already in the twilight of their careers face an uphill battle with injury setbacks, as Franklin, Matthew Kreuzer, Stefan Martin and Cale Hooker all come under Malthouse’s list as potential departing candidates due to injury.
Mick Malthouse’s list of potential 2020 retirements: