AAP AFL

Injuries force Deledio into retirement

By AAP Newswire

Brett Deledio has revealed the full extent of the staggering injury toll that cruelled the latter stages of an AFL career compounded by the heartache of witnessing former club Richmond win a flag the year after he departed.

Deledio, who was emotional at times when announcing his impending retirement at GWS headquarters on Thursday, has played just 31 of a possible 69 games since joining the Giants three years ago.

After starring at Richmond for 12 seasons which included two club best and fairests and two All-Australian selections, the former No.1 draft pick sought a fresh start at GWS.

But the injury issues which plagued him in his last year at Tigerland followed him north.

The year after he left, the Tigers ended a 37-year premiership drought in remarkable style, beating a GWS team including Deledio in the preliminary final along the way.

"There's no doubt I was disappointed with what had happened," Deledio said on Thursday.

"(But) I've got absolutely no regrets in terms of making the decision to come up here.

"I was nearly beaten at the end of 2016 and I could have could have quite easily probably finished then."

The 32-year-old said it had been an emotional time since it became clear the latest injury he suffered last week would sideline him yet again.

"I just tricked myself that it was only a minor little injury that wouldn't cost me any time and I'd play this weekend," Deledio said.

"It took me until I had the scan and got the news it was another tendon issue, that I had to come to terms with that's probably going to be it for me in terms of footy next year.

"I've left no stone unturned with my calf injuries to try and get them right.

"I've tried that many different things; I think I've probably had close to 30 recurring issues with different strains.

"Ultimately whatever I tried just wouldn't work."

Deledio said he was hellbent on being fit for the Giants' finals campaign before stepping aside at season's end.

He admitted it was hard playing against Richmond before a remarkably one-sided crowd in the 2017 preliminary final at the MCG, a game where he accumulated only 11 disposals.

'Something you really want to pride yourself on is playing well against the old team," said Deledio.

"It wasn't to be.

"It's very hard to concentrate when there's 95,000 people and 94 and a half thousand of them are going for your old club.

'It was an emotional day, but it's in the past.

"I've moved forward from all of that."

Deledio has played 274 AFL games, 243 of them for Richmond.