Betts officially announces AFL retirement

1 month ago 7
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Carlton veteran Eddie Betts has announced his retirement after a stellar career spanning 17 seasons and two of the AFL's biggest clubs.

Having played 349 games and kicked 638 goals, Betts will sign off this weekend after his 350th match. He leaves the game having won his club's goal-kicking award in six separate seasons.

After reports surfaced over the weekend that the 34-year-old was set to call it quits, Betts confirmed the news in a lengthy Instagram post.

"Thanks for sticking by me through the highs and lows," he wrote.

"I hope at some point in my career I was able to put a smile on your face. If I did, I'm happy and my work is done here.

Eddie Betts leaves the game as arguably the greatest ever small forward in VFL/AFL history (Getty)

"Thank you to the [Carlton Football Club] and the [Adelaide Football Club], fans, especially staff, coaches and players and their families and all fans of our game.

"To all the people who played a part in my career, it could never be done on my own.

"My family, back home for teaching and raising me that it's always important to look out for others and be selfless in the way we go about things. We will only get better if we look after each other. You got me here.

"To Anna [and] the kids. Words can't really explain the love and inspiration I get from you all.

"Looking forward to seeing you all with me on the next ride."

Betts became one of the AFL's biggest stars after joining Adelaide as a free agent at the end of 2013 (AAP)

Carlton senior coach David Teague paid tribute to Betts in a statement, noting his impact both on and off the field throughout his legendary career.

"Eddie is one of the game's most loved characters and he leaves behind an incredible legacy at our club and in our game," Teague said.

"He has had a significant impact both on and off the field throughout an unbelievable career, of which I'm honoured to have been a part of, both as a teammate and a coach.

"To have him impart his experience and wisdom on to our younger players over the last two years has been great for our entire group.

Betts became renowned for his ability to consistently pull off the freakish (Getty)

"Eddie is loved by everyone, whether you're a Carlton person or not, that tells you all you need to know about the mark this man has left on our game.

"On behalf of everyone at the Carlton Football Club, we wish Eddie all the very best."

Betts was incredibly overlooked in the national draft before being picked up by Carlton in the 2004 pre-season draft.

The lively forward increased his goals tally in each of his first seven seasons with the Blues before accepting a four-year deal as a free-agent to join Adelaide at the end of 2013.

Betts was a vital cog in the Adelaide team that finished 2017 as the minor premiers and played in a grand final (Getty)

Betts' game skyrocketed to another level in his native state, where he took out the club's goal-kicking award in his first four seasons while also being named to the All-Australian team three times.

As his career progressed, Betts became known for his ability to nail freakish goals from the boundary line, and he won the AFL's Goal of the Year award on four separate occasions (2006, 2015, 2016 and 2019), the most by any player in league history.

After a successful 132-game stint with the Crows, where he played in a losing grand final side, Betts was able to secure a fairytale return to Carlton at the end of 2019.

While the Blues were unable to send their goal-kicking legend off with a finals berth in his last two seasons, Betts still managed to hit the scoreboard, kicking 38 goals in 33 matches.

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