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Geelong premiership hero to retire at season’s end as he chases fifth AFL flag

Geelong’s Isaac Smith will retire at the end of the season, bringing down the curtain on an illustrious career that includes premiership success across two clubs.

Key points:

Smith has won premierships with Geelong and Hawthorn
He won three flags with the Hawks between 2013 and 2015
Smith joined the Cats ahead of the 2021 season

Smith claimed the Norm Smith Medal in the Cats’ grand final victory last year, having earlier won three flags during his time with Hawthorn.

The 34-year-old has played 277 senior matches for the Cats and Hawks.

“I am so fortunate to have been given the opportunity to play AFL football,” Smith said in a Geelong statement.

“It is every kid’s dream growing up and to have that play out for me across the last 13 seasons at two great clubs is something really special.

“From the time I walked into Hawthorn, and now being at Geelong, I have always felt right at home at both organisations and to this day have made some very special friendships and bonds with a lot of people.”

Smith joined the Hawks after being selected with pick 19 in the 2010 national draft.

He made his senior debut the following year, before completing a 210-match stint with the club in 2020.

His time at the Hawks was highlighted by their three consecutive premierships between 2013 and 2015.

Smith debuted for the Cats in 2021, so far playing 67 matches from a possible 70 with the club.

He became the oldest player to win the Norm Smith Medal when the Cats thrashed the Sydney Swans by 81 points in last year’s grand final.

Geelong general manager of football Simon Lloyd said Smith had played a pivotal role with the Cats during his time with the club.

“Over his three seasons at the Cats, we have been blessed to have Isaac wear the Geelong hoops,” he said.

“He is a unique individual and his ability to bring energy around the club is something that is going to be missed.”

Other AFL retirements in 2023 so far


Fischer McAsey: The 21-year-old quit the club at the start of the year, having played 10 games for the Crows in 2020.


Andrew Phillips: The 32-year-old will hang up the boots at the end of the team’s season. The ruckman currently has 79 games to his name, with 14 at the Giants, 27 at the Blues, and 38 at the Bombers.


Max Lynch: The 24-year-old ruckman was directed by doctors to retire from the game due to the risks of further concussion problems. He finishes with 11 games, with three at Collingwood and eight at Hawthorn.

North Melbourne

Ben Cunnington: Farewells the game as one of the best contested ball winners of the past decade, with 237 games for the Kangaroos. The 32-year-old from Cobden, in south-west Victoria, won two club best and fairest medals.

Aaron Hall: The 32-year-old retires after 161 games, with 103 at the Suns and 58 at the Kangaroos. Used as a forward, a midfielder, and a defender at various times, he could only manage six games in 2023.

Jack Ziebell: The North Melbourne skipper from 2017 to 2022, he will retire at the end of the season about 20 games short of reaching the 300 mark.


Jason Castagna: The triple-premiership winning 26-year-old made the shock call to retire pre-season, after 134 games.

Robbie Tarrant: The key defender announced his retirement mid-season, after battling a chronic hip injury. The younger brother of former Collingwood champ Chris Tarrant played 174 games for North Melbourne and 20 for Richmond.


Lance Franklin: One of only six men to kick more than 1,000 VFL/AFL goals, the two-time premiership forward leaves the game as possibly the greatest player of the modern era.

West Coast

Shannon Hurn: West Coast’s games record holder will hang up his boots at the end of the season with more than 330 games to his name. He finishes up as the 2018 premiership skipper and a two-time All Australian.

Luke Shuey: The 2018 Norm Smith medallist and two-time club best and fairest winner will retire at the end of the season just short of 250 games. The midfielder took over as West Coast captain from Hurn in 2019.




Author: Russell White