Geelong champion Corey Enright has announced his retirement, bringing his decorated AFL career to an end after 332 games.
The 35-year-old was in good enough form to play on after earning his sixth All- Australian selection but foreshadowed his retirement when he left the field in tears after Geelong's preliminary final loss to Sydney.
"It has been a privilege to play for this great club and alongside so many champions. I will now take some time now to assess what the future holds," he said on Wednesday.
Champion Geelong defender Corey Enright has determined that the 2016 season was his last, retiring after 332 games in the navy and white hoops.
Enright earned his sixth All-Australian selection after another stellar campaign. The 35-year-old broke the club record of 325 games previously held by Ian Nankervis in the Cats round 19 win over the Western Bulldogs.
“It has been a privilege to play for this great club and alongside so many champions,” Enright said.
“Obviously the success we have enjoyed over the past 17 years has been a highlight, but the friendships and relationships that I have made over my time with the club will endure for the rest of my life, and that in itself is a highlight.
“I would like to thank everyone from the Geelong Football Club, from teammates, to coaches and staff, for making it such a memorable time in my life. While football is a serious business, my time at the club has been very enjoyable and I have always looked forward to coming through the doors each day.
“The supporters have been amazing and very vocal and passionate and we are lucky as a club to have such a loyal following.
“Finally, I would like to thank my family for their support and the sacrifices they have made over the past 17 years. Without their support I could not have enjoyed the playing career that I have had.
“I will now take some time now to assess what the future holds.”
Geelong coach Chris Scott paid tribute to one of the club’s greatest players.
“Corey leaves a legacy that will be impossible to replicate,” Scott said.
“He has played at a high level throughout his career, and that continued through this year. Corey is not only a great player, but he has shown outstanding leadership both on and off the field during his time at the club.
“The statistics and honours speak for themselves, but it’s the work that he has done with his teammates outside of the public view that sets him apart. Corey has always been willing to help other players, to pass on his knowledge and to do everything he can to make the team better. He is the true embodiment of what we want our players to be.
“Boris will be difficult to replace on the field and around the club. We wish him well with whatever he takes on next, and I’m certain that if he was to pursue a coaching career he will be successful.”
Enright debuted in the second round of 2001 against St Kilda after being selected by the Cats with the 47th pick in the 1999 national draft. He went onto win the Cats best and fairest in 2009 and 2011, both premiership seasons, and to earn three premiership medals.
Enright appeared in 24 finals and helped the Cats reach the final series 11 times in 16 seasons. The Cats were victorious in 220 of Enright’s 332 games, a club record.