Adelaide Crows defender Brent Reilly has been advised to avoid playing contact sport ever again after fracturing his skull during pre-season.
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Reilly was kneed in the head during a routine training drill on February and has not played for the club since.
The 31-year-old announced his retirement on Wednesday, saying he would take up a coaching role at the Crows for the remainder of the season.
“My medical team, have told me that given the impact of the accident and subsequent surgery that they are unanimous in their recommendation that I never again play a contact sport,” Reilly said in a club statement.
“My sole focus at this time is recovery and resuming living a normal life. While this is still some months away, clearly I will not be in a position to play football again.
“Therefore, it is time to look forward and begin to plan the next phase of my life.”
Reilly will now explore business opportunities and become involved with the Australian Health and Medical Research Institute.
He took the time to thank the Crows for his 14 years at the club and has a message for the current playing group.
“The Adelaide Football Club has nurtured my growth from an 18-year-old boy who moved here from Victoria to a man in his thirties who now calls Adelaide ‘home’,” he said.
“From playing finals footy to just experiencing the day to day camaraderie for 14 years, by any measure I have had a great ride.
“No doubt being an AFL footballer is like a rollercoaster and I have had my fair share of ups and downs and this has helped me develop as a person.
“I have learned that no matter what you do in life you will have highs and lows and it’s the work you do and the persistence you have in the lows that determines how high you can go.
“This is a message that I want to pass on to the current playing group.”
Reilly was selected at pick no.12 of the 2001 AFL Draft and played 203 matches for the club after making his debut against St Kilda in round 15, 2002.