Graham Johncock has shocked the Adelaide Crows by announcing his retirement from the AFL with immediate effect.
The 30-year-old had spent the whole of his career with the Crows, making his debut for the club in 2001 and going on to feature in 227 matches.
However, he has cited fatigue for his reason to retire from the AFL, although he has expressed interest in playing for the Port Adelaide Magpies in the SANFL until the end of the 2013 season.
Johncock had only featured in two games this season but insisted the lack of match-time had nothing to do with his decision to call it a day
He said: “It is something that has been building for a while, just little niggles every now and then, and taking longer to recover.
“In the end, it was just too much to keep going. Over the last couple of years I have had problems with my ankle and then the knee and ongoing back issues. It just pretty much wore me down.”
The Port Lincoln-born star is ranked among the all-time draft steals, having been taken with pick 67 in 2000.
The defender, who ended up in the top five in Adelaide’s club champion award six times, added: “I have played in four losing prelims – so close. But not everybody gets that fairytale finish that they would like. I’m over the moon with my career.”
According to aussie rules betting pundits, Johncock also revealed that he was offered a farewell game but decided against it as he was afraid his body would not survive the rigours of the match.
The one-club man represented Australia twice in 2006 and played for the Indigenous All-Stars on two occasions three years later, scoring three goals.
During his 12 years with the Crows, he scored 120 goals, becoming a popular figure with fans who bet on Aussie rules.