Jimmy Bartel accepts Geelong’s decision to push him into retirement but the 32-year-old believes he had more to give in 2017.
The 2007 Brownlow medallist on Wednesday decided against lengthening his stellar AFL career into a 16th season, retiring after 305 games for the Cats.
“There’s a fair bit of me that thought I could keep going,” Bartel told Melbourne radio station SEN on Thursday.
“I thought maybe in a reduced capacity … I could have offered something.
“But I’m not bitter or upset. I completely respect everything the club’s done and the decision they’ve gone with.”
The three-time premiership winner spent the month after Geelong’s heavy preliminary final loss to Sydney weighing up whether to play on in 2017.
Bartel acknowledged his deteriorating form – a drop-off that suggested he would be no longer able to demand a position in the Cats’ best side had he played on – but was adamant he could still contribute.
“I’m never going to be the player I was 10 years ago,” he said.
“But I thought the player I was in the last couple of years was something of value.
“But clubs have got to keep moving forward.”
He has a desire to remain in footy in a list management role, but would need to “head down to Centrelink” as a first order of business.