DEMONS TO RETIRE
By Ben Jensen MELBOURNE PLAYERS CLINT BIZZELL AND NATHAN BROWN will play their final games in the battle of the hacks against Carlton at the MCG on Sunday. Bizzell began his career with Geelong in 1996, and was memorably described by club stalwart Garry 'Buddha' Hocking as the 'next Gary Ablett'.
(MELBOURNE MEDIA RELEASE)
Today Nathan Brown and Clint Bizzell announced their retirements from AFL football. Brown's retirement from the game came after playing 144 matches. Brown told the playing group of his decision prior to training today and will play his final game on Sunday against Carlton.
Brown said, "I've enjoyed my time at Melbourne, it's been 10 great years. It's been a lot of hard work but I believe I have got the most out of myself. It's the right time to finish and start the next chapter of my life with my young family.
"I'd like to thank my team mates, past and present
and wish them all the best for 2008 and beyond. I'd also like to thank
the Melbourne Football Club for the opportunity it has given me and
will remember my days here
MELBOURNEfc Coach Mark Riley said, "The little fella reminds me of "Rudy" the character out of the Notre Dame Gridiron movie of the same name. His spirit and energy around the club is infectious. He has battled injury over his journey and his given his heart and soul to the Red & Blue jumper. He has always played with great courage, run and dash out of defence and has an incredible knack of finding the footy. He's a super person."
Clint Bizzell also spoke to his team mates today, announcing his retirement. Clint will play his 163rd AFL game this Sunday against Carlton. Having played 75 games for Geelong between 1996 and 2001, Bizzell arrived at Melbourne in time for the 2002 season, and made an immediate impact in defence.
Bizzell said today, "I'd like to thank the Melbourne Football Club and my team mates for the last six years. I've really enjoyed it, as well as the time I spent at the Geelong Football Club.
"It's the right time for me to finish, with my body telling me, mentally and physically that this weekend is a good time to do so.
"It's been a great 12 years in AFL football and I have some amazing memories. I'm looking forward to the future and have an open mind about the endless opportunities ahead of me," Bizzell said.
Riley said of Bizzell, "Bizz is a terrific person to have around a footy club. He is a very optimistic bloke who always sees the positives and always sees light at the end of the tunnel. His football signature will be the bravery he played with. He consistently put his body on the line going back with the flight of the ball and played out of his weight division nearly every game he has played as a defender. He has great courage and is a great person."