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Nick Dal Santo officially hangs up the boots

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 10: Nick Dal Santo of the Kangaroos leave the field after his last match for the Kangaroos during the 2016 AFL First Elimination Final match between the Adelaide Crows and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at the Adelaide Oval on September 10, 2016 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)
Nick Dal Santo's final game in the qualifying final loss to Adelaide

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NICK Dal Santo has officially announced his retirement from football after a 15-year career with St Kilda and North Melbourne.

Dal Santo, 32, was told in August he would not receive another contract from the Kangaroos, with Brent Harvey, Drew Petrie and Michael Firrito delivered the same news.

He had expressed some interest in playing on if the offer was right but said in an Instagram post on Tuesday he would look for a career in coaching, media and the corporate world.

"After 15 years of highs and lows, I can now say that this chapter of my life is behind me. With mixed emotions and lots of processing, I’m excited about what’s ahead," Dal Santo said.

"Combinations of media, coaching and corporate are the areas I’ll focus on going forward. I have learnt so much from my time in the game and those who I’ve encountered on the way, which has put me in a great position to prepare for what’s ahead. 

"I’d like to sincerely thank the St. Kilda F.C and North Melbourne F.C, along with all the dedicated supporters, for allowing me to play the game I love for 15 years."

Dal Santo played 322 matches after being drafted by the Saints with pick No.13 in the 2001 NAB AFL Draft.

That leaves just seven players – Luke Hodge (No.1), James Kelly (No.17), Steve Johnson (No.24), Sam Mitchell (No.36), Leigh Montagna (No.37), Gary Ablett (No.40) and Jarrad Waite (No.46) – remaining from the 2001 'super draft'.

After 15 years of highs and lows, I can now say that this chapter of my life is behind me. With mixed emotions and lots of processing, I’m excited about what’s ahead. Combinations of media, coaching and corporate are the areas I’ll focus on going forward. I have learnt so much from my time in the game and those who I’ve encountered on the way, which has put me in a great position to prepare for what’s ahead. I’d like to sincerely thank the St. Kilda F.C and North Melbourne F.C, along with all the dedicated supporters, for allowing me to play the game I love for 15 years. I’ve had great guidance, encouragement and opportunity from Stride Sports Management. During this time, I also have been privileged to be sponsored and supported by Puma, Brighton Mazda and Drummond Golf. To my four coaches who have each taught me something different; Grant Thomas, Scott Watters, Brad Scott and a special mention to Ross Lyon, thank you. Most importantly, the teammates I have shared this journey with – our friendships go beyond the field. And of course, thank you to those who have shared every step with me, Julie, Jude, family and friends, the unconditional love and support will always be appreciated. As a 17-year-old leaving Bendigo I never imagined this is where football would take me and give me the life it has. I will forever be grateful.

A photo posted by Nick Dal Santo (@nickdalsanto) on Nov 7, 2016 at 6:09pm PST