WESTERN Bulldogs premiership captain Easton Wood has announced his retirement from the AFL, citing the effect of injuries on his body as the reason behind his decision.
The 32-year-old defender played 188 games for the Bulldogs across 14 seasons in a career that included a club best-and-fairest award and All Australian selection in 2015.
In 2016, Wood became the second premiership captain in Bulldogs history, steering the club to a fairytale flag after regular skipper Bob Murphy went down with a knee injury.
Wood dealt with numerous injuries of his own in recent years and battled a series of setbacks with his troublesome hamstrings.
He was sidelined for more than two months this year but returned in time to help the Dogs reach another grand final, where they fell short against Melbourne.
“After much thought, I’ve decided to retire from the game I love so much, at a club which has been my home for 14 years,” Wood said.
“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.”
Wood said he is “at peace with the decision” and “looking forward to the next chapter in my life”.
Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said Wood has been admired for both his football ability and impact off the field.
“We’ve been extremely fortunate to have Easton as part of our organisation for as long as we have,” Beveridge said.
Wood was initially selected by the Bulldogs with pick 43 in the 2007 National Draft.
(C) AAP 2021