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Sunday Age

Lion Keating one of many looking for fresh pasture

Author: MARTIN BOULTON
Date: 17/09/2006
Words: 723
Source: SAG
          Publication: The Sunday Age
Section: Sport
Page: 9
The year has taken its toll on several of the game's stars, Martin Boulton reports

AFTER three premierships and 139 games with the Brisbane Lions, ruckman Clark Keating is looking for a new club to continue his AFL career.

Keating told The Sunday Age he was shocked the Lions had let him go, but was optimistic about playing on, especially with three or four clubs looking for a ruckman.

"If I didn't think I could (continue), I would have retired at the end of this year," he said. "The club said it was due to salary cap reasons and had to let me go.

"Now it all comes down to whether another club wants to give me a go, so we'll see what happens in the next couple of weeks."

While Keating hopes to extend his career at another AFL club, others have either retired, been delisted, or in the case of Sydney ruckman Paul Chambers, simply walked out.

Another Lion, Brad Scott, played his last game against St Kilda in round 22 after announcing his retirement early last month.

A dual premiership player and member of Brisbane's losing grand final side in 2004, Scott played 168 games, including 18 games this season.

Justin Leppitsch retired mid-year after back surgery in the off-season failed to extend his career with Brisbane beyond four games this season.

Leppitsch, a three-time All-Australian, recovered from a knee reconstruction in his rookie season to become an integral part of the Lions premiership reign and finished his career on 227 games.

The Lions wasted no time once their season was over in trimming their list ahead of the busy trade period, delisting Jayden Attard, Luke Forsyth and rookie Marty Pask.

Geelong's Peter Riccardi experienced the highs and lows of football in his 288 games and retired immediately after injuring his hamstring in the round-19 match against St Kilda.

The 1998 best-and-fairest winner said he hoped to move into a local coaching role in Geelong.

The game also bade farewell to former Essendon and Port Adelaide player Gavin Wanganeen during the year after the 1993 Brownlow medallist succumbed to injury.

Wanganeen played his 300th match in the opening round this year but announced his retirement in June after coming to the painful realisation he could not return from cartilage damage in his knee.

"I couldn't even look them in the eye, it was that sad," Wanganeen said after telling teamates he was retiring. Wanganeen was a premiership player at Essendon in 1993 and Port Adelaide in 2004.

Bombers' star Dean Rioli reached the 100-game milestone against Richmond in round 21, was chaired from the ground by his teamates and hobbled into retirement.

Having lit up games of footy with his silky skills over seven years, Rioli could no longer trust his body to get through the rigours of an AFL season.

Speculation over former Saints and Hawthorn ruckman Peter "Spida" Everitt continues to mount, with the Hawks standing by their decision to offer him only a one-year contract.

Everitt has been linked with Sydney and, when talks with Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson failed to reach an agreement, Everitt confirmed he would seek at least a two-year contract at another club.

Carlton joins Sydney in the hunt for a ruckman after Barnaby French told his teamates during the Blues' final match of the year that he planned to hang up his boots.

The former Port Adelaide ruckman spent four years at Carlton and played a total of 133 games.

WHO YOU WON'T SEE AT YOUR CLUB NEXT YEAR

ADELAIDE

Matthew Clarke (may retire)

BRISBANE LIONS

Justin Leppitsch (retired)

Brad Scott (retired)

Marty Pask (delisted)

Luke Forsyth (delisted)

Jayden Attard (delisted)

Clark Keating (probable trade)

Jason Akermanis (trade)

CARLTON

Barnaby French (retired)

COLLINGWOOD

Blake Caracella (retired)

Chad Morrison (retired)

Shane Wakelin (may retire)

ESSENDON

Dean Rioli (retired)

FREMANTLE

Graham Polak (possible trade)

GEELONG

Peter Riccardi (retired)

Kent Kingsley (probably delisted)

HAWTHORN

Peter Everitt (trade)

John Barker (retired)

KANGAROOS

Jade Rawlings (retired)

Sav Rocca (retired)

Cameron Thurley (probably delisted)

MELBOURNE

Alistair Nicholson

(probably retire)

Shannon Motlop (probably delisted)

PORT ADELAIDE

Adam Kingsley (retired)

Gavin Wanganeen (retired)

Josh Francou (retired)

RICHMOND

Mark Chaffey (retired)

Greg Stafford (retired)

Andrew Kellaway (delisted)

ST KILDA

Stephen Powell (retired)

Justin Peckett (retired)

Andrew Thompson (may retire)

SYDNEY

Paul Williams (retired)

Paul Chambers (retired)

David Spriggs (probably delisted)

WEST COAST

Michael Gardiner (sacked)

Travis Gaspar (probably delisted)

W BULLDOGS

Rohan Smith (retired)

 
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