The thought of retirement had crossed Easton Wood’s mind earlier this season.
Wood, who captained the Western Bulldogs to their second premiership in 2016, called time on his AFL career on Friday, playing 188 games over 14 seasons, including 15 in 2021.
The 32-year-old defender admits he had “athletically declined” after suffering multiple hamstring injuries across his career.
“I’ve been thinking about it (retirement) for a little while,” Wood told SEN Drive.
“It probably first popped up back in Round 9 against Port Adelaide, I pinged my hamstring and that was my third one for the season at that stage.
“I thought that might have been my body saying that I’m not quite up to it mainly because when I actually look back at it, that was my 20th hammy overall.
“That’s too many, and it kind of took the wind out of my sails.
“What was great was I came back, albeit through a bumpy road in the VFL, I managed to do an ankle and miss a month as well, but to get back in and have that incredible run in the finals series, I was so grateful to be a part of (that).
“What was really evident and became quite evident to me during that period was that despite the hammys holding up, I’d athletically declined and I was a bit slower. I didn’t want to decline more next year and find myself out of the team and go out that way.
“As upsetting as it is to go out on a Grand Final loss, I go out on my own terms proud of what I’ve done and proud of finishing my game at the pinnacle I suppose in a Grand Final.”
Wood, a Charlie Sutton Medallist and All-Australian in 2015, bowed out with a year to run on his contract.