Giants' Deledio announces AFL retirement

Brett Deledio remains hopeful of playing again this year before he retires from the AFL.
Brett Deledio remains hopeful of playing again this year before he retires from the AFL.

Veteran Brett Deledio has called time on his decorated 15-year AFL career with the two-time All Australian set to retire at the end of this season.

The injury-plagued Deledio, who has battled a succession of soft tissue injuries in his three seasons with the Giants, is currently sidelined by a calf issue but remains hopeful of a return for the finals.

The former Richmond star, who has played 274 AFL games, has kicked 197 goals for Richmond and GWS since being selected with pick one of the 2004 AFL Draft.

He won the Rising Star Award in his first season.

His other honours include winning the Jack Dyer Medal as Richmond's best and fairest player in 2008 and 2009, and gaining All Australian selection in 2012 and 2015.

Deledio was vice-captain at the Tigers from 2013 to 2016 before moving to the Giants, where he has played under 50 per cent of games in his three seasons.

"I'm really proud of what I've been able to achieve in my career," Deledio said.

"I'd like to thank the players and staff both past and present at the Richmond footy club, which was my home for over a decade.

"I'm so proud to have played 243 games in the yellow and black and to have achieved two best and fairests and two All Australians there.

"I played my best footy as a Tiger but I'm so grateful for the opportunity the Giants presented me at the end of 2016.

"It's no secret I needed a fresh start and to be able to do that at a new club like the Giants has been unbelievable for me.

"I would have loved to have played a lot more footy in the orange guernsey but it wasn't to be and it taught me the influence I can have on the group without being out on the field.

"The past few years have been really tough, both on and off the field."

Australian Associated Press