Injury forces Tippett into retirement
AFL: Sydney Swans ruckman Kurt Tippett has retired from AFL football, effective immediately.
The former Adelaide Crow told his teammates at a meeting on Monday morning that he hadn't been able to fully recover from post-season ankle surgery and felt he could no longer compete at the AFL level.
The 30-year-old has struggled with injury for much of his time in Sydney and played just nine senior games last season and only 74 in his five seasons at the SCG.
"It's really tough to leave a game and a club which I really love," Tippett said.
"But the reality is that my body isn't going to stand up to the rigors of professional football.
"As I've found out in the past 18 months or so, it's impossible to play at the level you want without being fully fit."
Tippett has been controversial figure since he requested a trade to the Swans at the end of the 2012 season, the year Sydney won the premiership.
He and Adelaide were found to have broken salary cap rules resulting in Tippett being fined and suspended for 11 matches while Adelaide lost its first two draft picks in 2012 and 2013. The trade was blocked by the AFL and Sydney eventually signed him through the pre-season draft.
He and Lance Franklin became known as the "Bondi Billionaire's" when Buddy arrived the following season (2014) on a nine-year $10 million dollar deal, which ultimately led to the Swans losing their Cost of Living Allowance.
Coach John Longmire said Tippett had shown great courage to continue to play with a range of injuries.
"Kurt has played some key roles for us but has been very unlucky with injury," Longmire said.
"It's a real shame, because when he's out on the field he's been a great competitor. It takes courage to admit when your body isn't up to playing at the level you want, because players love nothing more than to be out there with their teammates competing each week.
"Kurt has considered what's best for the club and his teammates when making this decision, and he departs with our full support."
Tippett played 178 games and kicked 325 goals in his 10-year career at the Crows (104) and the Swans.
He was Sydney's leading goalkicker in 2013, kicking a total of 137 goals in his time at the Swans.
KURT TIPPETT'S CAREER
AFL Debut: Round 1, 2008 (Adelaide)
Games: 178 (74 Sydney)
Goals: 325 (137 Sydney)
2008 Rising Star nominee
2010 Adelaide's leading goalkicker
2013 Sydney's leading goalkicker