MELBOURNE tough nut Aaron vandenBerg will depart the club and three other Demons have been delisted just 48 hours after the club's drought-breaking premiership.
Jay Lockhart, Aaron Nietschke and Austin Bradtke have all been delisted, while vandenBerg will seek opportunities elsewhere after 51 games at the club.
Neville Jetta also announced his retirement after 159 games over 13 years at the club. A mainstay of the Demons' backline for the best part of a decade, Jetta played the opening four games this year before returning for one more in round 10.
Jetta informed the group of his decision in an emotional meeting on Monday as the club prepared to return home to Melbourne following their Grand Final win over the Western Bulldogs.
“Having the chance to be able to witness and be part of the ultimate success at this great club is something I’m incredibly proud of,” said Jetta.
“I’m super proud of my journey as a player, one that has had many ups and downs, and I’m forever grateful for the opportunity to live out my childhood dream and help our club be great again.
“To every single person who has been a part of my journey, thank you for making it such a special one."
vandenBerg, 29, only managed four games this year, including two as the unused sub, as he again struggled with injury.
WHO'S CALLED IT QUITS 2021's retirements and delistings
“Vanders has made a significant contribution over his seven years at the club. His ability to set standards on and off the field has been significant in our growth over this period," list manager Tim Lamb said.
“I know our supporters loved the brutal way that Vanders played the game. His performances in some big games for the club, including the 2018 AFL Finals Series will be long remembered.
“We wish Vanders all the best for whatever comes next.”
Lockhart played 22 games at Melbourne since joining the club as a pre-season supplemental selection in 2019.
Bradtke and Nietschke never played a senior game with the latter suffering three ACL injuries in his time at the club.
“We had to have some difficult conversations this afternoon, which is always tough but particularly tough after an exciting weekend for our club,” Lamb said.
“Jay, Aaron and Austin have all made a great contribution to Melbourne and displayed excellent character throughout their time at the club.
“We wish the boys all the best for the future and thank them for everything they have given to the club.