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Tiger Tucks into retirement

Jennifer Phelan  August 29, 2013 3:09 PM

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Shane Tuck has announced his retirement

RETIRING Richmond veteran Shane Tuck hopes he will be called up for an elusive finals appearance after deciding to finish his AFL career at season's end. 

The Tigers midfielder played last season on a one-year contract but his strong 2012, in which he appeared in every game, earned him another deal. 

However a shoulder injury in the middle of this season cost him six games and then four weeks in VFL before he was dropped from the seniors last week. 

The 31-year-old said the realisation there was no longer a spot for him influenced his decision to retire, but he hadn't given up on playing his first final in the coming weeks. 

"The club hasn't played finals for 12 years so I'd love to be part of it, and hopefully I get a spot somewhere along the line," Tuck told the club's website. 

"I've been contemplating [retirement] the last couple of years with things happening along the way, but this year things haven't really gone to plan. 

"The boys are playing really well so there's not much of a spot left for me. 

"After the GWS game, the boys played really well and I got dropped for that one so I thought it was probably time to call it quits." 

Tuck has played nine senior games this year to take him to 171 overall.   

He said he felt he was leaving the club's midfield "in great hands" after the emergence and improvement of the younger ball winners. 

"[Trent] Cotchin, when 'Lids' [Brett Deledio] goes through there, [Dustin] Martin … you can name them all," he said. 

"They're real quality players and that's why they're one of the best midfields in the comp." 

Former Sydney Swans captain Brett Kirk was the first player who "stitched up" Tuck, while his father, 426-game Hawthorn legend Michael, has been his biggest influence. 

"He [Michael] gives you the tough love at times and lets you know where things are at," he said. 

"He comes to most of the games and has a quiet beer. 

"He enjoys himself and lets me know how I go so it's good to have him around." 

After being drafted by Richmond in 2003 following an untried stint on Hawthorn's rookie list and then at SANFL club West Adelaide, Tuck made his AFL debut in round 14, 2004 against the Brisbane Lions. 

He said while he was both happy and sad to retire, he believed he had got the best out of himself over the past 10 years despite frustrations with recent inconsistency. 

"I feel that I've done everything I can. The last probably four years since Dimma's been here, I've been a little bit up and down with being selected and stuff like that," he said. 

"It's been a hard time but I've definitely tried my very best and I can leave knowing that I've done that." 

Hardwick paid tribute to the veteran, who finished in the top 10 of the club's best and fairest seven times.  

"Shane has been a fantastic servant of the Richmond football club over a long period of time," Hardwick said. 

"He has overcome the odds on a number of occasions and has become a favourite among the Tiger fans, and a much-loved, respected teammate."

Twitter: @AFL_JenPhelan