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Fierce St Kilda champ Jarryn Geary retires

Former St Kilda captain Jarryn Geary has announced his retirement from the AFL.

After failing to recover from injuries, the veteran Saint has decided its time to hang up the boots.

Geary played 207 games for the Saints after being picked up with pick 58 in the 2006 Rookie draft.

After being elevated to the main list, and making his debut in 2008, the champion went on to have an influential career which including captaining the Saints from 2017 to 2021.

The 34-year old suffered major setbacks in the latter stages of his career. While he tried to persevere and make a comeback, eventually the injuries took their toll and he has retired, effective immediately.

Over the last four seasons, the versatile Saint has succumbed to a quad issue that required emergency surgery, a broken leg and shoulder reconstruction.

Unfortunately for him and the Saints, that meant he could only play 24 games over that span.

Fighting back tears, the 34 year old told his teammates “I just wanted you to be able to trust me and that’s all I want for you guys,” he said.

“I’ve loved the journey I’ve had, but it’s time for me to pull the pin at the footy club. It’s been something I’ve loved and cherished for 15 years of my life,” he said.

To demonstrate how esteemed he was within the walls of Moorabbin and the faith the Saints hierarchy had in him, he was entrusted with taking over the captaincy from club legend Nick Riewoldt. They were massive shoes to fill but Geary did it with class.

He led the club through a rough patch and yet was a shining light, leading the younger brigade to higher standards.
Unable to add to his 207 games this year due to injuries, the former skipper’s decision comes after the 34-year-old was deemed to require a full shoulder reconstruction.

St Kilda coach Brett Ratten was full of praise for the contribution that Geary made to the club.

“We would not be in the position we are today without Gears’ leadership, honesty and courage, and on behalf of the club, I would like to thank him for all he has done for St Kilda,” the Saints coach said.

“It’s always sad when one of your great warriors calls time, but you can’t help but feel immense pride for everything Jarryn has achieved and done for this football club.

“He’s led the club through some challenging times and pushed those around him to improve and bring a high standard consistently,” the 51-year old coach said.

Chief Operating Officer Simon Lethlean was also complimentary of Geary’s contribution and service to the club over a long period of time.

“Gears hangs up the boots as one of the most influential and dedicated players to represent the red, white and black,” Lethlean said.

“As a long-serving captain and leader, Jarryn really put the betterment of this club first and has been unflinching in that mission for the better part of a decade,” he said.

And even though he was unable to taste premiership success, Geary is still full of encouragement of his teammates in their pursuit for premiership glory.

“I know you’re going to succeed sooner rather than later if you keep digging in and hopefully you can continue to climb and give yourselves the opportunity to play in September,” the former captain said.

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