Saints star calls it a day

05 March 2021 16:08:19 GMTPlus10

St Kilda defender Dylan Roberton has opted to retire from the AFL with immediate effect to put his health and family first.

The 29-year-old has had to cope with worrying issues concerning his heart over the last few years and he is not willing to risk his health to carry on playing.

Roberton has been weighing up the decision over the last couple of months, and with the new season just a couple of weeks away, his mind is now made up.

"I've come to a point where I need to put my family and future first," Roberton said. "Football has been a huge part of my life for such a long time and I've never lost my passion for the game.

"But after lengthy discussions with my family and on the advice of my doctors, I've made the extremely hard decision to hang up the boots."

Roberton has made 129 AFL appearances but has played just once since collapsing during a game with Geelong back in 2018.

Saints head coach Brett Ratten has paid tribute to the player and praised him for the way he has handled the situation.

He has also confirmed the club will support Roberton as he looks to get on with the rest of his life.

"Dylan is a much-loved and well-respected member of our club," Ratten said. "He should be really proud of how he has dealt with everything life has thrown at him - it's a real credit to his character.

"Dylan has a great footy brain and he'll remain an asset to our program for the remainder of 2021."

St Kilda are priced at 80/1 to win the AFL grand final.

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