Melbourne veteran, Aaron Davey, announced on Tuesday that he plans to retire at the end of the current season, bringing to a close a glittering career that has seen him play 176 games in nine years for the club.
His last game in the professional arena was against the Western Bulldogs in Round 23, and discussions have already begun with regard to repaying the one-club player’s loyalty with an off-the-field role next year.
Whilst he has not ruled out lacing up his boots at a lower level at some point, he has admitted that finally announcing his retirement was a weight off his shoulders and something that his body would be grateful for following nearly a decade of hard-knocks.
During his announcement, an emotional Davey thanked the club, his manager and his family, adding that he appreciated the honest and open manner in which discussions were handled regarding his future.
Melbourne coach, Neil Craig, said Davey had been a great role model – particularly for indigenous people looking to get into the sport – and that he would be regarded as a “special player in the history of the football club”.
Davey admitted that he was unsure as to what his next move would be, admitting it would take some getting used to not playing.
“My head is in the clouds at the moment. I think it will hit home in the couple of weeks when all my family come down, but I am just going to enjoy it for what it is, spend more time with them, and freshen up mentally.”
Certainly, Melbourne will have a job on their hands to replace his thundering left boot – and the latest betting odds from Betfair.com suggest that next year’s title chances could well hinge on their ability to do so.