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Concussion battle gets the better of Bulldogs flag hero

Liam Picken celebrates a goal during the 2016 Grand Final - AFL,Retirements,Liam Picken,Western Bulldogs,Delistings
Liam Picken celebrates a goal during the 2016 Grand Final

WESTERN Bulldogs premiership player Liam Picken has announced his retirement following an ongoing battle with concussion symptoms.

The 32-year-old told his teammates on Monday that he would call an end to his career after playing 198 career games.

Picken has not played at AFL level since sustaining a head injury in the 2018 JLT Community Series.

 

The lingering concussion symptoms have not allowed him to get into a position where he is ready to play or return to full training.

Picken last year detailed the issues he was forced to navigate after being diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome, with light and noise sensitivity, noise ringing in his ears, headaches, migraines, mental wellness, memory function and impaired balance all affecting his quality of life.

He is loved and admired within the club, and universally respected by the whole football public - Luke Beveridge on Liam Picken

Some of those symptoms he had recovered from and others he had not.

 

Picken will be fondly remembered for the determination and resilience he displayed throughout his career after being taken by the Bulldogs in the 2009 NAB AFL Rookie Draft.

His career was highlighted by an outstanding 2016 finals series where he kicked eight goals in four games, including three in the Grand Final against Sydney to be a key contributor to the Bulldogs' first premiership since 1954.

 

Coach Luke Beveridge paid tribute to Picken and the legacy he would leave at the Bulldogs.

"For the duration of his career, Liam has embodied the core values we hold dear as a football club, and we will miss his presence greatly," Beveridge said.

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"We have always had a family-first mentality at the Bulldogs, and that should always be the overriding consideration when it comes to a player's health and any impact that has on playing football.

"Liam can be immensely proud of his achievements. He is loved and admired within the club, and universally respected by the whole football public, which is a true indication of the impression he has made on the game."

Bulldogs director of football Chris Grant said the club would continue to support Picken in his retirement.

"Over the last 12 months our focus has been to support Liam by providing him with the best medical care and ensuring his health is our number one priority," Grant said.

"We will continue to provide off-field assistance for Liam to ensure he has the necessary support to return to full health, including his transition into the next chapter of his working career."

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