Adelaide veteran Graham Johncock has announced his retirement from the AFL, citing fatigue as the reason.
Johncock's announcement even came as a surprise to Crows officials as he called time on his 227-match career, saying his body could not handle the rigours of playing the game.
Over the last couple of years I have had problems with my ankle and then the knee and ongoing back issues. It just pretty much wore me down.Graham Johncock
The 30-year-old, who started his career at the Crows in 2001, has featured in only two games this season. But he said the lack of match-time had nothing to do with his decision to retire.
Johncock said: "It is something that has been building for a while, just little niggles every now and then, and taking longer to recover."
He added: "In the end, it was just too much to keep going. Over the last couple of years I have had problems with my ankle and then the knee and ongoing back issues. It just pretty much wore me down."
Coach Brenton Sanderson had repeatedly said Johncock was on the brink of selection and this season and the player was expected to play out the rest of the year at least.
He is ranked among the all-time draft steals, having been taken with pick 67 in 2000. He was a sturdy defender and ended up in the top five in Adelaide's club champion award six times. The veteran also featured in 16 finals.
He said: "I have played in four losing prelims - so close. But not everybody gets that fairytale finish that they would like. I'm over the moon with my career."
He also said he was offered a farewell game but admitted he was afraid his body wouldn't survive the rigours of the game.
Johncock added: "I am a firm believer that every game you get has to be earned."
Adelaide are 1/1 to beat West Coast, who are 1/1. West Coast are 1/1 with a 5.5-points start.
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