Western Bulldogs premiership captain Easton Wood has called time on his career, just weeks after he featured in the 2021 AFL Grand Final.
Wood was contracted for next season, but having been plagued by quad and hamstring injuries since the 2016 premiership, decided to forego the final year of his deal.
The 32-year-old was drafted with pick 43 in 2007 and went on to wear the tricolours in 188 games, captaining the club on a permanent basis in 2018 and 2019.
Originally from Camperdown in the state’s south-west, Wood started out as an athletic midfielder, and honed his one-on-one craft towards the end of Brendan McCartney’s stint as coach.
When Luke Beveridge arrived, Wood was named vice-captain, unleashed as an interceptor and won All-Australian selection and a club best and fairest.
After Bob Murphy tore his anterior cruciate ligament, Wood served as the Dogs’ captain for almost the entire 2016 season, and lifted the cup with Murphy on the final day.
“Whilst it’s been difficult to confront, the reality is I’ve athletically declined,” Wood told the Bulldogs’ website.
“I wanted to finish up on my own terms and I felt that if I declined further next year, I wouldn’t have had that opportunity.”
Off the field, Wood has served on the board of the AFL Players’ Association, and been a persistent advocate for limiting the influence and reach of gambling in sport.