WESTERN Bulldogs premiership captain Easton Wood has retired effective immediately, saying he'd "feel sick" if he went on and let the club down in 2022.
The Gnotuk and Camperdown export was contracted for 2022 but felt pulling the pin was the right decision after 188 games.
"No matter how much I was getting paid next year, if I felt like I was just rocking up to get a pay cheque knowing that 'jeez at any moment if I pinged a string or I got dropped that I could just pull the pin' and leave the club high and dry, I'd feel sick about that," Wood told The Age.
Just not quite as fast as I used to be and I can't quite jump as high either. It's only small, but it might mean missing the ball by a centimetre.- Easton Wood
"I don't think I'd be able to ever reconcile that, no matter how much was coming back the other way."
The intercepting defender said he considered the idea as early as May. He delivered an honest assessment, admitting he'd "athletically declined" over the past year after several injuries in a decorated 13-year career.
"The thing that became apparent over that period and probably what's been the driving factor in my decision-making is that whilst it was great to be back in the team and be fit, it's a bit hard to confront but I've athletically declined," Wood said.
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"Just not quite as fast as I used to be and I can't quite jump as high either. It's only small, but it might mean missing the ball by a centimetre." Wood said he was excited to spend time with partner Tiff, daughter Matilda and son Frederick, soon to turn one.
He said he was keen to support Tiff's consultancy business.
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