Jason Winderlich will hang up the boots at the end of the 2014 AFL season.
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Essendon veteran Jason Winderlich has announced he will retire at the end of the 2014 AFL season.
The 29-year-old’s career was plagued by injury, but his decision comes as a surprise considering his late good run of form.
Winderlich announced to teammates and coaches he will retire at seasons end.
“I’ve enjoyed every single minute during my time here at Essendon,” Winderlich said.
“To be drafted to the club you supported as a kid was a dream come true. I would have been honoured to play the one game, so to pull on the jumper for twelve years has been an absolute privilege.
“I’m certainly going to miss the banter around the club and playing alongside a great group of blokes, but I’ve got a young family and I have to think about my long term future and I think it’s fair to say the body probably didn’t have another full pre-season in it.”
Bombers coach Mark Thompson was full of praise for Winderlich, paying credit to his resilience after overcoming several serious injuries.
“For ‘Licka’ to carve out a career he did, with all the challenges he faced, really is an incredible achievement,” Thompson said.
“There’s always a sense of excitement whenever Licka has the ball in his hands. He’s a smart player and his blistering speed allowed him to change the momentum of a game.”
“Over the later part of his career he’s been a great leader and mentor for the younger players and he will be missed, there’s no doubt about that.”
Winderlich was taken at pick 12 by Essendon in the 2002 National Draft. He has since played 123 games, kicking 78 goals.