Richmond’s Shane Edwards announces retirement on stellar career

Richmond’s Shane Edwards has decided to retire from his stellar career, which will come into effect at the end of the year.

Edwards, who recently played his 300th game against Brisbane, thought his time might be up as he still had one more push ahead of him in this series of finals.

The Tigers closed again into September with an impressive win over Hawthorn and found themselves back in familiar territory.

Edwards was instrumental in all three Grand Finals (2017, 2019, 2020) and will be remembered as one of the Tigers’ modern greats

The winger received two Norm Smith Medal votes in 2017 and four in 2020.

An all-Australian (2018) throughout their dynasty, the 33-year-old has been on the podium on a number of occasions in the club’s best and fairest counts, alongside the likes of Dustin Martin, Tom Lynch, Dylan Grimes, Dion Prestia, Trent Cotchin and Jack Riewoldt.

When Edwards shared with his team-mates on Tuesday he understood where his position at the club was and wanted to go on his terms.

“It’s time for me to step aside and move on just like the players did for me when I started,” Edwards said.

“I’m trying to do my best but it’s pretty obvious to me that next year I’m not going to help us progress.

“The club gave me everything, it changed my life forever and I will always be associated with Richmond Football Club.

“Most of all I will miss my teammates, we have been through so much together and always had fun. I’ll miss putting that sweater on before a game and when we really flip the switch. I also love the 15 minutes after a win, it’s the best feeling.

“I’ve won premierships and a few wooden spoons and also completed everywhere in between.”

Manager Damien Hardwick also spoke about Edwards as a person and how much of an impact he has had on the club.

“Shane came in as a young player and leaves as a proud Richmond Native American man,” Hardwick said.

“The journey he has taken is a reflection of us as a club and what we have achieved. Shane leaves us as a three-time Premiership player and All Australian. It’s like everything we’ve become.

“What we have gained from Shane is incredible insight, both as individuals and about Indigenous culture.

“The lessons we’ve learned from Shane as players can never be underestimated. The way he came in and impacted games when we needed a spark is the only thing I will remember of Shane as a player.”

Edwards joins a special roster of Indigenous players who have played more than 300 games, joining the likes of Shaun Burgoyne, Adam Goodes, Eddie Betts, Andrew McLeod, Lance Franklin, Michael O’Loughlin and Gavin Wanganeen.

The No10 usually finds talent to pop up in the right place and has kicked in 186 majors and 210 assists over the course of his career.

Edwards has also tied the most with seven games, level with Brad Johnson and Barry Davis.

With Richmond’s season still well and truly alive, could we be seeing a fairy tale for one of their champions?

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