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Rodan retires after 'more comebacks than John Farnham'

Ben Guthrie  August 30, 2013 2:27 PM

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David Rodan has retired after rupturing his ACL for a third time

DAVID Rodan has announced his retirement after rupturing the ACL in his left knee for the third time.

The 29-year-old consulted his surgeon during the week after injuring his knee against Adelaide in round 22, who told him – from a quality of life point of view – it was best to end his career here and now.

He does so, despite having a year to run on a two-year contract with the Demons and finishes with 185 career games during his time with Melbourne, Port Adelaide and Richmond.

Speaking to the media at AAMI Park on Friday afternoon, Rodan thanked his mother, wife, his three boys, his Demons teammates and the club's coaching staff.

He also singled out former Demons coach Mark Neeld for showing the faith to recruit him to the club for pick 87 in last year's trade period.

Despite copping some criticism for recruiting a few less-fancied and recycled players, including Rodan, interim coach Neil Craig said that decision would be made again in a heartbeat.

"I'd do it again, tomorrow, in a flash with the input that he's been able to have on this playing group," Craig said.

One of the ways he has been able to have influence at the club is by mentoring the younger players – in particular emerging midfielders Jack Viney and Jimmy Toumpas.

"I look forward to taking my three young boys to the football and watching these young guys develop and take this club back to the top of the ladder," Rodan said.

His Demons teammates were on hand to bid him farewell and it was clear from the mood of the room that he commands respect from his peers.

Although things did not go quite to plan during his time with Melbourne, Rodan's persistence during his career was evident for all to see.

At his best during Port Adelaide's Grand Final appearance in 2007 (which he counts as a career-highlight), his ability to zig-zag and motor through traffic was up there with the best players in the league.

Rodan is also likely to be remembered for his persistence in battling through four knee reconstructions, including the latest offering.

He is considered one of the pioneers of the contentious LARS surgery. To this day he still receives calls and emails asking whether he is an advocate of the procedure.

"Each scenario's different," he said. "It was perfect for me with what I wanted it to do, which is to get me through my career."

Rodan, who moved to Australia as a three-year-old after being born in Fiji, finishes his career having played 65 games with Richmond from 2002-06, 111 with Port Adelaide from 2007-12 and nine matches with Melbourne in 2013.

He intends to continue in his role an AFL multicultural ambassador, in a more formal capacity next year.

Twitter: @AFL_BenGuthrie