ESSENDON ruckman Matthew Leuenberger has retired despite being offered a new deal.
The Bombers big man was considering a contract offer from the club but has decided against playing on after three seasons at Tullamarine.
He played 29 games for Essendon after 108 at Brisbane, crossing to the Bombers as a free agent at the end of 2015.
The 30-year-old played only two senior games this year after Tom Bellchambers took on the role as No.1 big man.
"It has been a thrill to experience the likes of Anzac Day and watch the group grow to a point where anything is possible next season," Leuenberger said.
"I felt like the flame is now burning too low to compete every day at training let alone game day, and it would have been selfish of me to show up for another season.
"I look forward to sitting back as an Essendon fan to watch next season unfold."
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Essendon football manager Dan Richardson said the Bombers were keen for Leuenberger to stay in 2019.
"'Leuey' is a great person and although we would've loved to see him continue, we are excited to see what lies ahead for him in the future," Richardson said.
"He has shown dedication in all that he does and has been a great mentor to our younger players through their development."
It leaves Bellchambers as the Bombers' only ruckman with senior experience, although they have high hopes for young option Sam Draper.
Shaun McKernan has also been a pinch-hit ruck option in his time at Essendon.