COBDEN midfielder Paul Foster has bowed out of football following a distinguished Hampden league career.
The former coach and captain, who celebrated his 250th senior game earlier this season, announced his retirement to his teammates following the Bombers’ final round loss to Hamilton Kangaroos on Saturday night.
“I am all done and dusted,” he said.
“It’s been tough going the last half of the season I suppose and an ability to compete (has faded) and that’s one of the main reasons I made the decision.
“If you’re not up with the game, you get left behind. I have always prided myself on being able to compete and I have eased off and lost a yard or two to be honest.”
Foster, who turns 32 next month, made his senior debut for Cobden in 2004 as a 17-year-old.
The inside ball winner played in the Bombers’ 2007 and 2012 defeated grand final sides and co-coached for two seasons alongside Wayne Robertson.
“The club has given me every opportunity along the way – as a player, as a captain and then as a coach,” he said.
“They’ve been terrific for me. I’ve been pretty fortunate in a way, there’s not been too many years where I’ve not played finals in my career, probably only four or five years really.”
The dairy farmer, who milks 480 cows on his Bungador property, said he needed concentrate on his work.
“It’s physical work and constant. It’s where my passion lies and where I’ll go (with my career),” Foster said.
Outgoing Cobden coach Levi Dare said Foster was well respected.
“It’s sad to see him go because he’s a great leader at the club and has captained and coached,” he said.
“’Fozzy’ got the best out of himself. He really committed himself.”
Dare’s parting message as mentor was for the Bombers, who finished the season with six wins and 12 losses, to work hard individually and collectively.
“We’re all disappointed about the season we’ve had but a lot of it has come back to we didn’t get the best out of ourselves,” he said.
“I urged them over pre-season to really put in and really make themselves better individually because that will make them better as a side.”
Dare is undecided on his playing future and could remain at Cobden or play elsewhere.
“I took on the coaching role and really wanted to bring success to the club and help them forward,” he said.
“The club’s been great to me personally and welcoming. I had my heart on playing out my career at Cobden before this season.
“If I am not playing at Cobden, I will find a club looking for a broken down workhorse with a few gallops left in him.”