Harley Bennell celebrates a goal for the Demons. Picture: AFL Photos

HARLEY Bennell has played his last AFL game, confirming on Monday that he is retiring.

Bennell posted on Instagram that the curtain had closed on the "best 10 years of his life", bringing an end to a career that featured 88 games with three clubs. 

WHO'S LEAVING? Your club's retirements and delistings

"Thank you to everyone who was involved … it was an awesome ride," Bennell wrote.

First recruited to Gold Coast with pick No.2 in the 2010 NAB AFL Draft, Bennell enjoyed an incredibly promising start to his AFL career but was then plagued by a series of persistent calf injuries that limited him to just seven games in his final five seasons.  

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He was recruited to Melbourne via the pre-season supplemental selection period this year, but played only five games in the 2020 season after two matches in four years with Fremantle.

He was recently involved in a COVID-19 protocol breach after leaving the Demons' hub without permission.

It resulted in a four-game suspension and a $50,000 fine for the club, who had appeared unlikely to extend his one-year rookie contract beyond this season.