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Dog gone: Murphy confirms this season is his last

Football

The exodus of AFL veterans continues with Western Bulldogs captain Bob Murphy the latest to confirm he will retire at the end of the season, after 18 years in the league.

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The 35-year-old, a two-time All Australian, has played 310 games and is the oldest player in the league.

“It’s been a privilege to be among you (teammates) for 18 years and an even greater thrill to lead you for the last three,” Murphy told a media conference today.

Murphy missed last year’s grand final victory due to a serious knee injury but Beveridge handed his premiership medallion to the veteran at the post-game ceremony.

The Bulldogs face a difficult task to send Murphy out a premiership winner, sitting ninth on the ladder with two games before the finals.

Murphy joins fellow AFL greats Jobe Watson, Nick Riewoldt, Luke Hodge, Sam Mitchell, Steve Johnson, Matt Priddis and Scott Thompson in hanging up the boots at the end of the season. His Bulldogs teammate Matthew Boyd will also retire at season’s end.

Hawthorn defender Josh Gibson is another now joining the long list, with the 33-year-old triple premiership winner also confirming today that he will retire from football at season’s end, having played his last senior game.

“I’ve probably known for most of the year that this would be my last season,” Gibson said.

“I still love coming to the club every day, but as we’ve seen over the past couple of months there are several young guys ready to take over the reins in the back end and I’m more than happy to step aside for them.

“Since getting injured in Round 12 I’ve been working really hard in my rehabilitation but I’m only back to around 75 percent fitness and given the development of our young defenders, I’m content with the fact that I won’t play another game of AFL footy.

“While I’d love to run out in the brown and gold one more time, I’d never do so at the expense of a young player with their whole career ahead of them. I’m satisfied knowing that I’ll leave the club with nothing left in the tank.”

Gibson has played 160 games since 2010 for the Hawks after starting his career at North Melbourne, where he played 65 games.

-AAP

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