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Matthew Jaensch quits Crows

Football

Adelaide defender Matthew Jaensch has shocked the football world by retiring at age 26, just weeks from the start of the AFL season.

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The Crows announced on their website on Friday afternoon that the running backman was “retiring, effective immediately”.

He was on the comeback trail from injury, but had also courted controversy over the course of his career – most recently losing his licence for six months after he was caught drink driving in August, returning a blood alcohol reading of 0.137, ironically while a game was being played that would determine his team’s finals hopes.

I’ve lost my passion to play the game

He had ruptured the ACL in his left knee during the Crows win over St Kilda in May – a game in which he was close to best afield before his injury.

In a club statement, Jaensch thanked his family and friends for their support, and the club “for the opportunity to be in the AFL for seven years”.

“I am very proud to have played at the highest level, and feel really privileged to have taken the field with some of the superstars of the game,” Jaensch said.

“I would finally like to thank my team mates for their support and fun times shared, I wish them all the success for the coming season.

“Playing in the AFL takes a great deal of focus and commitment and right now I’ve lost my passion to play the game I grew up loving.

“I look forward to pursuing a new chapter of my life.”

Jaensch played 74 games after being selected in the 2010 rookie draft.

Crows Head of Football David Noble said Jaensch had “had to contend with a number of difficult events in recent times, including his recovery from a serious injury”.

“He is a talented footballer and we wish him the very best and will provide him with ongoing support as he transitions into the next phase of his life.”

The Club said it would work with Jaensch and his management group, as well as the AFL Players Association.

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