GREATER Western Sydney midfielder Matt de Boer has played his last game of AFL football, announcing his immediate retirement after 223 games across 14 years at two clubs.
De Boer, who began his career with 138 games at Fremantle including the 2013 Grand Final, moved to the Giants at the end of 2016 via the draft.
It was in Sydney that he cemented his reputation as one of the game's most effective taggers, and played a key part in the powerful Giants teams that went deep into the finals, including the 2019 Grand Final loss to Richmond.
De Boer, now 32, told his teammates of his decision on Thursday.
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“The GIANTS organisation, and its people, is truly a special place and has had a profound impact on not only me but my wife, family and friends,” de Boer said.
“My heart is unequivocally full of gratitude and love for the friendships, memories and opportunities that playing in the AFL has availed me.
“I’d particularly like to thank Leon Cameron for believing in me and challenging me always to be the best version of myself.
“I’d also like to thank the Fremantle Dockers for first recruiting me and, in particular, Mark Harvey and Ross Lyon for teaching me the abnormal effort and football IQ required to perform at the highest level.”
Giants GM of football Jason McCartney said de Boer had made a significant contribution to GWS in his six years at the club.
"Matt is the ultimate clubman and epitomises everything you want in a leader," McCartney said.
"He's diligent and resilient and got the most out of himself as a footballer, while contributing enormously to team standards and culture.
"Most AFL players never reach 200 AFL games and Matt's career is a testament to his hard work, sacrifice and relentless pursuit of excellence."