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Petrie to retire after Eagles' finals campaign

Full post-match: Eagles Watch West Coast's press conference after round 23's match against Adelaide
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 27: Drew Petrie of the Eagles is chaired off after the win during the 2017 AFL round 23 match between the West Coast Eagles and the Adelaide Crows at Domain Stadium on August 27, 2017 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Media)
Drew Petrie is chaired off Subiaco Oval after announcing his pending retirement
I think he's been really embraced by our supporters and members
Adam Simpson on Drew Petrie

DREW Petrie will hang up the boots at season's end after successfully answering West Coast's SOS this year.

The Eagles were open to the 34-year-old playing on next season, as reported by AFL.com.au earlier this month, but Petrie has decided to join Matt Priddis, Sam Mitchell and the last remaining 2006 premiership player, Sam Butler, in retirement.

He will play out the Eagles' finals campaign after they sealed a top-eight spot with a 29-point victory over Adelaide in the farewell game at Domain Stadium on Sunday. 

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But coach Adam Simpson announced on the field post-match that the former North Melbourne champion would be finishing up this year, so that he could farewell the Eagles fans who have quickly taken to the popular ruck-forward. 

"I might have jumped the gun a tiny bit there but he was indicating he was looking at retiring," Simpson said in his post-match press conference.

"I did ask him before I spoke on the ground if he'd like to thank the fans. 

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"I think he's been really embraced by our supporters and members and I think they know him for who he is as a person as well – to do that in 12 months is a credit to him and his family."

After 316 games for North Melbourne, Petrie agreed to join West Coast as a shock rookie selection last year to provided insurance for injured ruckmen Nic Naitanui and Scott Lycett.

Despite some initial doubts from fans, Petrie proved to be an extremely shrewd pick-up. 

With Naitanui and Lycett only managing a solitary appearance between them in 2017, he has been a more-than-handy sidekick for fellow recruit Nathan Vardy. 

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Petrie broke his hand against his former club in round one but worked his way back to play 14 games in the home-and-away campaign, impressing with his competitiveness despite being undersized in the ruck.

He also stepped in admirably at full-forward when spearhead Josh Kennedy was sidelined for five games, and has booted 13 goals this season, taking his career tally to 441. 

Petrie's decision to call time is another sign of West Coast's impending list transition, with the Eagles committed to regenerating via youth this off-season. 

West Coast had the oldest squad in the competition entering this season.