Former Dennington coach Michael Phillips is calling time on his football career, with the 300-game milestone man content with his contribution to the club.
The 38-year-old last played in the emotional win against Timboon Demons at home earlier this season, seriously injuring his Achilles in what was his 300th match in the Warrnambool and District league.
But after re-injuring his Achilles recently and going in for surgery, the well-respected clubman confirmed he was hanging up the boots.
He said he was proud and humbled to have represented the club on-field for almost two decades after arriving at the club as a 17-year-old as a junior from Port Fairy to join older brothers Wayne and Mark.
"This year was always going to be my last, so when I did the Achilles the first time it was basically the last game for me," he said.
"I've been there on and off, I started coming to the club when my brothers were there playing and I was probably 10 or 11 when I first started watching Dennington," he said.
"I've been there pretty much ever since and I'm 38 now - it's been a long journey. It was pretty dark times when I started and then I took over as coach, so it wasn't too great but we came out of it the other side."
Phillips said it was particularly special to play in a win in his final match against the Demons - a day not only important from a personal perspective but for the whole club who battled through COVID-19.
"To play in a win that day, it was pretty special," he said. "To end my career on a winning note was good."
He added the club was heading in the right direction under senior coach Ben Thornton.
"The more senior footy you play the better you become," he said. "There's probably 10 or 11 of them that have been together for a few years now.
"They started as 17 and 18 year olds and they were inexperienced coming up against good sides, but now they've got to 40 or 50 games they've grown into their bodies.
"When you add more talent it's obvious how much they've improved."
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