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Veteran Bulldog quits after 'fantastic journey'

Matthew Boyd has announced his retirement - ${keywords}
Matthew Boyd has announced his retirement
Whether or not it's called a farewell game, I'd love to get myself back into the AFL side
Matthew Boyd

RETIRING club great Matthew Boyd hasn't been guaranteed a farewell game by the club, but the veteran is keen to win a spot back in the Western Bulldogs side ahead of a possible finals campaign.

Boyd announced at a packed media conference on Tuesday in front of family and friends that this season would be his last at AFL level.

With the reigning premiers needing to win at least two of their remaining three games to play finals, Boyd will struggle to gain senior selection due to an Achilles complaint.

He won't play at any level this weekend due to the nagging injury, following 26 disposals in the VFL last weekend.

Turning 35 on August 27, the 291-game veteran said he still had hopes of again representing the club he loves dearly.

"Whether or not it's called a farewell game, I'd love to get myself back into the AFL side," Boyd said on Tuesday.

"I've really enjoyed my time in the VFL, it's been a fantastic learning experience … but I'd love to pull on the Western Bulldogs jumper again if the coaches see fit.

"I still feel I have plenty to give – both on and off the field for this footy club.

"I'm excited about what the next seven weeks hold, and how I can continue to contribute."

Boyd is a three-time All Australian and former club captain, but injuries and indifferent form have limited him to just nine senior appearances this year after he was part of the Dogs' premiership win last season. 

Despite spending time in the VFL this year, Boyd said he had no regrets about playing on into a 15th AFL season after finishing 2016 as an All Australian. 

Matthew Boyd and his family at Tuesday's announcement. Picture: AFL Photos

"I finish with absolutely no doubts about my ability to contribute," Boyd said.

"Last year ... I still felt like I had something to give.

"It's been a fantastic journey. I knew this year was going to be my last.

"I feel extremely fortunate to play the game as long as I played."

For a player taken with pick 23 in the 2002 NAB AFL rookie draft, the highly-decorated midfielder has given great service to a club that spotted him toiling away in the VFL reserves.

In round 12, he broke the record for the most games played by a rookie draftee, eclipsing Eagle Dean Cox's mark of 290 matches.

Boyd has averaged 25 disposals per game in his career to date (the second most by a Bulldogs player who has played more than 100 games), and has kicked 85 goals.

He also claimed three club best and fairest awards, and represented Australia in the 2008 and 2010 International Rules series against Ireland.