Collingwood defender Jordan Rughead has played his last AFL match, announcing his immediate retirement from the game.
The 31-year-old told teammates this morning that the Round Five match against Brisbane in April was his final.
Rughead has struggled with shoulder and finger injuries in recent times.
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“Coming this season I knew it could be my last. I’ve been suffering from a running shoulder problem for the last few years and I knew at some point I would have to make a decision,” Rughead said.
“Over the last month or so I’ve spent some time thinking about when to call. It’s not a decision I make because I want to because I’m making a decision for my long-term health and also for my family.”
An experienced veteran of 201 games in 13 seasons, Rughead was a member of the Bulldogs’ Drought-Breaking 2016 Premiership team.
Trading in Magpies before the 2019 season, Rughead has only played one game this season. He underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder in February, and underwent finger surgery after the match against the Lions.
“Footy play has given me the ability to contribute to something that was just bigger than me and that I was able to achieve on my own. I’ve never been the most fit, strong or the best kick. I’ve found a way. Squeeze all the juice out of my lemon Take it and be a part of something bigger than yourself, ”said Rughead.
“At the beginning of the year we talked about how we’re going to honor this football jumper. I talked about how I’m going to support everyone in this room, and I’ve been committed to it for years. It’s not. I’m going to stop now, and I’m in some power year I’ll be here in the end. “
Rughead’s retirement gives the Magpies an extra selection in next week’s mid-season rookie draft.
Collingwood football boss Graham Wright said: “Everyone left the ‘Rafi’ football program to greet him.
“Rafi has given everything he has, and we can’t ask any player for more than that.
“Even though he’s not going to play, he hasn’t lost in the program. For the rest of the year, Rafi will be working in several areas of the football department.”
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