Dogs’ premiership skipper calls time on his career

2016 premiership skipper Easton Wood. Picture: AFL Photos

WESTERN Bulldogs premiership captain Easton Wood has announced his retirement after a 14-season career.

Wood led the Bulldogs to their drought-breaking 2016 premiership victory, becoming just the second premiership captain in the club’s history.

Drafted with pick No.43 in 2007, Wood played 188 games for the Bulldogs.

Easton Wood with his prized premiership medal after 2016 Grand Final. Picture: AFL Photos

Wood said the time was right to hang up the boots.

“Whilst it’s been difficult to confront, the reality is I’ve athletically declined.  I wanted to finish up on my own terms and I felt that if I declined further next year, I wouldn’t have that opportunity.  I’m proud to go out as a member of the team and being part of an amazing run to get to the Grand Final,” he said.

“Having dealt with numerous injury setbacks over the last few years, in particular my troublesome hamstrings, I felt like the time was right to step away.  I’m at peace with the decision, and I’m looking forward to the next chapter in my life.

“There have been some up and downs along the journey, but I’m leaving the game content that I gave everything I had, backed by my family, friends, and the loyal and passionate Bulldogs members and fans.”

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Coach Luke Beveridge applauded Wood’s professionalism and influence at the Kennel.

“We’ve been extremely fortunate to have Easton as part of our organisation for as long as we have,” he said.

“It’s not often we find a player who is universally admired for his football ability, but also the impact he has on those around him. Easton has left a lasting impression on everyone associated with the Club, and we’re better for having worked with him.

“Not only was he meticulous in his preparation and yearned to maximise his potential as a professional athlete, but he succeeded in being an influential leader and he always spent the time to make others better.

“It’s a shame that Easton didn’t have the opportunity to communicate the news and say his goodbyes directly to the players, coaches and staff, but we’ll find an opportunity to farewell him in person later this year.”

SOURCE: afl.com.au