RETIRINGAdelaide veteran Graham Johncock wasn’t able to continue playing or training atthe highest level because his body was letting him down.

Thedefender-turned-forward said persistent back, ankle and knee injuries drainedhis confidence to such an extent that even if he had been offered a farewellgame he wouldn't have been able to get through it.

Oneof the club's all-time fan favourites, Johncock finishes his career havingplayed 227 AFL games, ninth on the club's games tally.

Hissix top-five club champion finishes was bettered only by Mark Ricciuto and BenHart (seven each) and Andrew McLeod (10).

Healso played in16 finals including four preliminary finals.

Infront of his teammates and beside Crows football manager Phil Harper, Johncocksaid he had been thinking about retirement "for the last couple of months.

"Therigours of playing AFL footy, the body just couldn't handle it," he said.

"It'ssomething that's been building for a while, just little niggles every now andthen and taking longer to recover was, in the end, just too much to keep going.

"Overthe last couple of years I've had problems with my ankle and then the knee andongoing back issues … it just pretty much wore me down."

Draftedto the club with pick No.67 at the 2000 NAB AFL Draft, Johncock quickly became afavourite with Adelaide's fans.

Hardat the ball and its carrier, the 30-year-old made a name for himself as a toughsmall defender who could hold his own at the other end of the ground.

Hewas Adelaide's leading goal kicker in 2003 and finished with 120 career majorsincluding a bag of six.

"I'mproud of what I've achieved and it's something I'll sit back later on and canreminisce about," he said.

"Asfootballers we all strive for that premiership; obviously that didn’t happenwith me.

"I'veplayed in four losing prelims, so close, but not everybody gets that fairytalefinish that they'd like.

"I'mover the moon with the career that I've had - if you'd have told me 15 yearsago when I was a kid running around in Port Lincoln that I'd be a 200-plus gameplayer for the Adelaide footy club I would have taken it every time."

Despiteimpressive SANFL form this year, where he has booted 27 goals in eight games, Johncockhad been unable to break into the Crows side after a five-disposal effort inround three.

Dependingon how his body holds up, he said he'd like to play out the season with thePort Adelaide Magpies.

Whilehe won't be given a farewell game, supporters will get the chance to thank the30-year-old during a lap of honour at AAMI Stadium in round 22 when the Crowsplay Melbourne.

Johncocksaid that even if he had been offered a final match, he wouldn’t have acceptedit.

"I wouldn'thave picked myself because I strongly believe I wouldn't have gotten through agame because of the injuries and the way the body feels," he said. 

Harry Thring is areporter for AFL Media. Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_Harry.