West Coast defender Xavier Ellis has retired from AFL ranks at the age of 28, with a calf injury proving to be the final straw.
Ellis was attempting to return to AFL ranks in time for the finals, but decided to call it quits after re-injuring his calf while playing on Saturday in the WAFL.
The Hawthorn premiership defender had been plagued by soft-tissue injuries throughout his 11-year, 120-game career and said it was time to rest his weary legs.
“I’m done!! Thank you all involved at (Hawthorn) and (West Coast) for the 11 tremendous years,” Ellis posted on his Instagram account.
“Amazing highs and a few (too) many lows, but was well worth the work. These legs need a rest now.”
Ellis was in just his second season in 2008 when he won a premiership with Hawthorn.
All up, Ellis notched 86 games for the Hawks, before moving to West Coast as an unrestricted free agent at the end of 2013.
Ellis racked up 34 games for the Eagles – including the 2015 grand final – but he only managed two games this year.
He partially tore his achilles tendon in round one, before making his last appearance for the Eagles in round 12 when he was a last-minute inclusion.
The left-footer was dropped the next week, before injuring his calf while playing at the weekend for East Perth.
Ellis will continue to work with West Coast’s development coaches to assist the club’s younger players.
“He has made a terrific impact on the club over the past three years,” Eagles general manager of football Craig Vozzo said.
“He had an abundance of footy smarts, his skills were elite and he certainly played an important role within the fabric of our senior squad.
“X has a great understanding of the game but, unfortunately, his body has struggled to cope with the ongoing demands of elite football.
“He has been an important factor in the playing group and his personality has been infectious.”