Geelong favourite Jimmy Bartel has called time on an illustrious AFL career.
The 2007 Brownlow medallist came to a mutual agreement with the Cats to end his time on the playing field, which yielded three premiership wins, a Norm Smith medal and this year’s Jim Stynes award for community service.
The 32-year-old played 305 games for Geelong, booting 202 goals after being picked eighth in the 2001 AFL draft.
“I wanted to take my time once the season finished before I made this decision,” Bartel said in a Cats statement.
“I am forever grateful to have been drafted by the Cats and I hope in some way to have repaid the faith that was shown in me all those years ago.
“While I feel I still have more to give, I understand the bigger picture and respect the direction the club wants to move in. So therefore I have decided the time is now right to retire from the game.
“Over the past 15 years I have played out every dream I ever had and I leave the game satisfied that I have given everything I had in every game.
“To have played with my home town club and to have shared in the success we have had has been an incredible experience.”
Geelong coach Chris Scott paid tribute to the retiring superstar.
“Jimmy is the embodiment of what a footballer should be,” Scott said.
“He was fearless, could play multiple roles for the good of the team and was adaptable in a changing game.
“Jimmy will rightly go down as an icon of the Geelong Football Club, and he has left a lasting mark on all those that he has played with over the past 15 seasons.
“Jimmy was always prepared and as history has shown, he was at his best in the biggest moments and the biggest games.”
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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