PORT Adelaide veteran Brad Ebert has played his last game, and his final act on the field typified the courage that defined his 260-game career.
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Ebert was concussed while running back with the flight of the ball to effect a crucial spoil during the final term of Port's preliminary final loss to reigning premier Richmond.
He was helped from the field in the arms of trainers and took no further part in the game due to the mandatory concussion protocols.
An emotional Ebert embraced several of his teammates after the game and led the vanquished Power down the race.
Port coach Ken Hinkley confirmed that Ebert, 30, would retire.
"It's pretty clear if you watched coming off the ground tonight, Brad's done as an AFL player. He's got to put himself, his health, and his family first," he said.
"He gives everything to our footy club. He'll walk away from the club knowing he did everything he possibly could. I've had a lot of conversations with Brad this year and the courage of that man is amazing. He just kept at it right until the end.
"He's been pretty certain this was probably be the end because he wasn't prepared to risk any further injury to his head."
Hinkley also confirmed defender Ryan Burton had re-injured his quad and was put back on the ground during the third quarter in an effort to keep teammates fresh and save a rotation.
It was 23-year-old's third separate quad injury for the season.
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After acknowledging the Power would rue a missed opportunity to make their first Grand Final since 2007, Hinkley forecast a bright future for his football club.
"We said we were improving and we were coming, (and) we didn't get to quite where we wanted to go, but we gave it one hell of a shot," he said.
"Someone's going to go past Richmond at some point, we're going to be trying bloody hard to be that team that goes past them. Tonight, we weren't ready to go past Richmond.
"I'm optimistic about our football club. It hurts a bit tonight but there's some optimism in us."
The Power are yet to unleash highly rated pair Miles Bergman and Dylan Williams from last year's NAB AFL Draft and will again explore the possibility of recruiting Essendon forward Orazio Fantasia this off-season.