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  1. #1
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    Clay Smith calls time on career



    Western Bulldogs forward Clay Smith has announced his retirement from AFL football, effective immediately.

    Smith, who has been battling a knee injury which has forced him to remain on the sidelines in 2018, told his team-mates and Club staff today that his seven-year career has come to an end.

    A much-loved player at the Bulldogs who has endured the agony of injury and the ecstasy of premiership success, finishes his time at the highest level with 55 games and 43 goals for the Club.

    “It was a very difficult decision for me to retire at my age, but the right one to make given my knee hasn’t been able to fully recover,” Smith said.

    “I’ve given everything to try to make it back this season, but unfortunately it hasn’t worked out the way I would’ve liked.

    “I want to thank everyone at the Western Bulldogs for their support over my career, and especially the medical staff, physios and strength and rehab staff for their care and professionalism.

    “It’s been a difficult road for me, but I was able to experience being in the premiership team and I wouldn’t swap that for anything.

    “I’ve also met some great people, made some incredible friendships, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to play AFL football.

    “While life without footy will leave a big hole in my life, it has shaped me as a person and helped me grow and I’m thankful for that.”

    Smith was recruited to the Bulldogs with pick 17 in the 2011 National Draft from Gippsland Power and burst onto the scene in Round 1 the following year with a four-goal debut against West Coast.

    The 16 games he registered in 2012 would be the most he would play in a season, with a series of knee injuries interrupting his career.

    He ruptured his ACL three times in the next three seasons, robbing him of the opportunity to establish himself at AFL level.

    After three gruelling 12-month rehabilitations, Smith returned in Round 15, 2016, and became a crucial member of the Bulldogs’ premiership run.

    He kicked eight goals and averaged 18 disposals in the four finals, including four goals and 26 possessions in the preliminary final win over GWS.

    “It has been emotional time for all of us because Clay is such an admired and loved person around the place, and it’s sad his career has come to an end at just 25 years of age,” said Bulldogs’ senior coach Luke Beveridge.

    “To have the mental application and strength to work through all the setbacks he’s had to deal with has been inspirational to watch and his team-mates have been motivated by his determination.

    “He should be so proud of what he did to overcome all of his challenges, and content that he will always be a Western Bulldogs premiership player.

    “We will miss him dearly when he leaves the building, but we will always be connected.”

    http://www.westernbulldogs.com.au/ne...time-on-career
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  2. #2
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    Re: Clay Smith calls time on career

    Thank you.
    I drank the slab that Bon Scott drunk
    I injected some of Hendrixs junk
    I booked a seat on Lynyrd Skynyrds plane
    Mama Cass's sandwich? Ate the same

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  4. #3
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    Re: Clay Smith calls time on career

    Bulldog legend. That prelim performance will stay with me forever.

    Cheers Clay and thank you for the flag.
    The curse is dead.

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  6. #4
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    Re: Clay Smith calls time on career

    Brian Taylor summed him up beautifully during the '16 prelim final: "He's a go-er".

    Knew no other way to approach football than as a bull at a gate.

    I only wish we could have seen more of his best.

  7. #5
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    Re: Clay Smith calls time on career

    Very sad, though not unexpected news. Clay was a huge part of our 2016 finals success, and forever has a place in the history books. I can only imagine the mental strain of 3 ACL tears - his body just couldn't make it. Wishing him all the best for the next chapter. Thanks for giving us your all.
    "Who are you, and how did you get in here?"
    I'm a locksmith...and...I'm a locksmith "

  8. #6
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    Re: Clay Smith calls time on career

    We couldn’t have won the flag without Clay. His ferocity in the PF was simply outstanding. The injury god were so cruel to Clay, but how wonderful that his brief period of respite was in that second half of 2016. We can’t ever thank you enough Clay.
    www.bulldogtragician.com A blog about being a lifelong fan of the Dogs and our quixotic attempt to replicate 1954. AND WE DID
    Author of "The Mighty West: the Bulldogs journey from daydream believers to premiership heroes"
    Twitter @bulldogstragic

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  10. #7
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    Re: Clay Smith calls time on career

    Literally fought back tears. My favourite bulldogs. All the best Clay.
    Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I'm very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.

  11. #8
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    Re: Clay Smith calls time on career

    Best on ground in one of the most important wins in our history.

    I'll never forget the moment he went it lower and harder than Griffen and outbodied him to create that opportunity for Daniel.

    Clay goes out early, doing the team thing again. Bulldogs legend, his legacy is assured.
    "It's over. It's all over."

  12. #9
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    Re: Clay Smith calls time on career

    55 games, that is all. Thank you Clay and all the best.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

  13. #10
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    Re: Clay Smith calls time on career

    Quote Originally Posted by EasternWest View Post
    Best on ground in one of the most important wins in our history.

    I'll never forget the moment he went it lower and harder than Griffen and outbodied him to create that opportunity for Daniel.

    Clay goes out early, doing the team thing again. Bulldogs legend, his legacy is assured.
    Clay in a nutshell - my favourite ever Bulldogs goal (took something special to knock off Kolyniuk in 1990 vs Collingwood). Built for September and delivered on the big stage.
    "You've got no fear of The Underdog, that's why you will not survive"
    - Spoon, 2007
    - Western Bulldogs, 2016

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  15. #11
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    Re: Clay Smith calls time on career

    No Clay, 2016 flag. It's a simple as that. Forever a BullGod
    Western Bulldogs: 2016 Premiers

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  17. #12
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    Re: Clay Smith calls time on career

    Very sad news. Clay was a player who had the talent and heart to have a long and successful AFL career but it just wasn't meant to be.

    He'll always be a Bulldogs premiership player and he can take heart that he contributed massively to winning it. His exploits in the prelim final helped break a curse many thought would never be lifted from Whitten Oval. Thanks for everything and good luck in your life post-football Clay. You were a player I truly admired.
    Western Bulldogs: We exist to win premierships

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  19. #13
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    Re: Clay Smith calls time on career

    Great, great memories, thank you Clay.
    I wept from seeing greatness. Bontempelli was Royce Hart at his best, full of grace, intertwining his ballet seamlessly into a game of football.

  20. #14
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    Re: Clay Smith calls time on career

    Echoing everyone's sentiments. That one game immortalised Clay.

  21. #15
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    Re: Clay Smith calls time on career

    Brilliant Finals Record (all in 2016):

    4 Games
    4 Wins (100% winning record)
    1 Premiership

    8.1 Scored
    2 Goal Assists
    3.5 clearances average a final
    9.2 tackles average a final
    18.5 disposals average a final
    Of disposals he had a more contested ratio: 39 contested, 35 uncontested
    Lost his best friend to a tragic car accident before the GWS game, but still ran out committed to the contest.

    That's one hell of a record to proudly look back upon in the years ahead.
    I drank the slab that Bon Scott drunk
    I injected some of Hendrixs junk
    I booked a seat on Lynyrd Skynyrds plane
    Mama Cass's sandwich? Ate the same

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