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Eagle Glass retires after injuries strike

Darren Glass retires A look back at the champion Eagle defender's greatest moments as he departs the game
Darren Glass has retired after 270 games - ${keywords}
Darren Glass has retired after 270 games
With hindsight I've probably played a year too long. At the end of last season I was really confident I could play this year, but it hasn't panned out that way
Darren Glass
DARREN Glass has announced his retirement from AFL football effective immediately.

The West Coast captain revealed that his body has failed him after 15 seasons and 270 games. 

Glass, 33, signed a one-year deal at the end of last season after fending off constant speculation about his future, but he revealed on Thursday that in hindsight he has probably gone on a year too long as he has battled ankle and hip problems all season and had struggled to back-up week to week. 

"I've played my last game, so it's all over," Glass announced in front of family, friends, teammates, Eagles' staff and a large media contingent. 

"With hindsight I've probably played a year too long. At the end of last season I was really confident I could play this year, but it hasn't panned out that way.  


"I have been struggling to string a couple of games together this season and feel like it's time I step aside and let someone else come in. 

"I'm not confident of playing any decent and good consistent footy in the back half of the year and feel like it's time to step aside."

Glass revealed he had been talking to coach Adam Simpson over the past five weeks about the prospect of retiring. 

He said he knew in the lead-up to the Eagles' loss to Hawthorn last Saturday that it may well be his last game, and reality hit him on Sunday morning. 

"By the time Sunday rolled around and I sort of pulled up pretty sore again, (I knew)," Glass said. 

"The aim was to see if the ankle and the hip could be feeling a little better, but it wasn't the case, so I knew pretty much straight away."

Glass played the first three games of the season but missed West Coast's clash with Geelong in round four, which was the night his long-time teammate Dean Cox broke Glen Jakovich's club games record. 

He said missing that match was the moment he knew he would not see out the year. 

"We had some players out injured, Coxy was breaking Jacko's record, tough away trip - I would have really loved to have been there." Glass said. 

"But physically I knew I wouldn't be able to get ready to play so it's been a slow realisation for me."

Both Simpson and Eagles chief executive Trevor Nisbett tried to convince Glass to play a farewell game on Saturday against Gold Coast but the veteran had no interest in playing for the wrong reasons. 

"I feel like it's time to step aside and let someone else come in and have a go," Glass said.

"That's just the way I feel. I don't want to pinch a game off another player. I think it's time to move on."    
 
It is hardly a fitting end for one of the greatest defenders of the modern era, but one that fits Glass perfectly. 

He finishes on 270 games, third all-time on the Eagles' list behind Cox and Jakovich. He led the club on 129 occasions, with only his former coach John Worsfold (138) captaining West Coast in more games.

He was a pivotal figure in the club's 2006 premiership, but his individual career honours rank him among the best of his era. 

He won three best and fairest awards - only Jakovich and Ben Cousins have won more at the club - and he is a four-time All Australian including being named captain in 2012.

Yet Glass doesn't see himself in that echelon of great players.

"(I was) a battler," Glass said. 

"It's called a scragger, I think. I just defended like a defender should defend - desperately.

"I had my limitations as a player, but loved playing the game, loved competing."

Darren Glass
Born: May 14, 1981
Height: 192cm
Weight: 93kg
Came from: Northam/Perth Football Club
Drafted: 1999, selection 11
Debut: Round 4, 2000 v Adelaide at the WACA Ground
Games: 270
Goals: 8
Football honours: Club Champion 2007, 2009, 2011; runner-up Club Champion 2006; All Australian 2006, 2007, 2011, 2012 (captain); West Coast Eagles captain 2007-2014 (129 matches); premiership player 2006.


Darren Glass attempts to spoil Jarryd Roughead during what proved to be the West Coast captain's final game. Picture: Getty Images