Brisbane Lions veteran defender Matt Maguire has announced his retirement from AFL.
The 31-year-old backman, who played 170 Senior games at the Brisbane Lions and St Kilda in total, made his decision after experiencing ongoing symptoms from a concussion suffered two months ago.
Maguire has not played since being heavily concussed in a NEAFL game against Ainslie at Coorparoo on April 25.
Lions medical staff, in consultation with concussion specialists, were confident Maguire would make a full recovery but the unpredictability of the symptoms meant it was unclear when he would be ready to play again.
“I can’t get out there and play footy so the decision was made pretty easily for me,” Maguire told the playing group today.
“I can be proud of what I’ve been able to achieve in footy.
“I’ve been able to come to this point and be proud that I’ve been able to get the most out of myself.
“If you can get to the end of your career and say that, then you can be quite content and happy to move on to the next phase of your life with a big smile on your face and relish that you’ve had so many great memories and good friendships.”
Affectionately known as “Goose”, Maguire began his career in 2002 with St Kilda and played 99 games before a badly broken leg halted his career.
He fought back to full fitness and was signed by the Brisbane Lions at the end of 2009, and his aggression and physical presence have proved valuable during 71 Senior games for the Club.
Last year, Maguire started in Reserves before playing 13 of the final 15 Senior games of the season, then undergoing ankle surgery at season’s end.
He played two Senior games in 2015.
“I’ve been really fortunate to play for two great Clubs – I’ve loved my time here at the Lions,” said Maguire.
“It’s been great to be able to continually challenge myself and get the best out of myself for the past six years up here.
“And to get the support from everyone at the Club … there’s so many people who have helped me along the way. I’m really thankful for that.”
Senior Coach Justin Leppitsch said Maguire had left a great legacy in helping develop the Club’s current crop of young defenders.
“There’s not many players who can have the resilience to stay in the game, and to sign six one-year contracts in a row,” said Leppitsch.
“This Club is better for having Goose in it.
“The next generation here can take a lot out of what you’ve given them over the last few years.”
Maguire will be honoured with a Lap of Honour at the Gabba on Saturday evening during the halftime break of the match against the Adelaide Crows.