Swans big man Kurt Tippett retires from AFL

After a career spanning 178 games for two clubs, Kurt Tippett announced his immediate retirement from football on Monday morning.

Citing doubts over his body's ability to return from injury, he battled persistent ankle, hip and hamstring issues in the past two seasons.

Despite the setbacks over the past few seasons, he was working to strengthen his ankle following post-season reconstructive surgery.

Tippett remained optimistic of returning to full fitness, however the length of recovery and doubts of returning to his best led to his decision to retire.

The 30-year-old said that telling his team mates on Monday morning was not an easy thing to do.

“It’s really tough to leave a game and a club which I really love, but the reality is that my body isn’t going to stand up to the rigors of professional football. As I've found out in the past 18 months or so, it's impossible to play at the level you want without being fully fit,” Tippett said.

“I want to thank the Swans and also the Crows for the opportunity to fulfil my dream to play and compete in the AFL. I would also like to thank my teammates and coaches, particularly John Longmire and Neil Craig, and the fans and supporters of our great game.

“Last but not least I would like to thank my family and friends for their love and support over my career. As sad as I am that I won’t play at this level again, I look forward to transitioning into the next phase of my life”

Sydney Swans coach John Longmire said Tippett had been an integral part of the team.

“Kurt has played some key roles for us but has been very unlucky with injury, which is a real shame, because when he’s out on the field he’s been a great competitor,” Longmire said.

“It takes courage to admit when your body isn’t up to playing at the level you want, because players love nothing more than to be out there with their teammates competing each week.

“Kurt has considered what’s best for the club and his teammates when making this decision, and he departs with our full support.”

Swans Head of Football Tom Harley thanked the powerful player for his time and contributions at the Swans.

“Retirement is never an easy decision and I know that Kurt’s decision was not made lightly,” Harley said.

“Kurt has been an exemplary team mate and always put the club first. We wish Kurt all the best for the next phase of his life and he will always be welcome at our club.”

Tippett played 74 of his 178 AFL games at the Sydney Swans, including the 2014 and 2016 AFL Grand Finals.

Kurt twice club leading goal kicker, once for the Crows in 2010 and once for the Swans' 2013, kicking a total of 137 goals in the red and white.

Congratulations on a fantastic career Kurt and all the best for the future.

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Justin Mitchell

Justin is a passionate AFL and Sydney Swans supporter, and football blogger since 2016. All articles are of his own opinion. You can reach him by twitter and Facebook at @theswansblog

Melbourne, Australia http://theswansblog.com

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