Former Adelaide captain Nathan van Berlo has quit the AFL with a blunt message to his teammates: seize the day.
Van Berlo has announced his AFL retirement just days before Adelaide’s finals campaign opens with a Saturday night elimination final against North Melbourne.
The 30-year-old, who still laments playing in three losing preliminary finals, has told his teammates to make the most of their chance.
“The next few weeks presents an amazing opportunity for this group,” van Berlo told reporters on Monday.
“And I know that we are ready for team success and to show the footy world how good we can be.
“We have got an incredible opportunity coming up … and we have shown throughout the year that our best footy is well and truly good enough and I know that belief is here within the playing group.”
Van Berlo, who captained Adelaide for four years from 2011, will continue to play in the state league finals campaign of Adelaide’s SANFL side.
But the 30-year-old conceded his form and physical capabilities were short of what was needed to add to his 205 AFL games.
“For a while now I haven’t been able to perform consistently at the level the AFL demands,” he said.
“Over the last few years there have been some physical and emotional challenges that have tested me and although I have tried to regain the form that I expect of myself, I have been unable to do so.
“It’s always tough to make a decision when footy has been so important to me for so long but at the end of the day, the decision was very clear to me.”