Jason Dunstall yesterday rejected suggestions that he put his loyalty to
Channel Seven ahead of Hawthorn by announcing his retirement on TV on Wednesday
Speaking at Glenferrie Oval before his final training session with the Hawks,
Dunstall said Hawthorn's president, chief executive, coach and football manager
knew his decision late in the afternoon, which he said satisfied the basic
criteria of letting the club know first. "They were the people it really
concerned at the club," he said.
"I would have loved to have sat down with the players, told them all the
reasons and really spilt my heart out to them. That would have been a very
emotional thing for me to do.
"But unfortunately, the way things are these days and the level of
professionalism in the game and the involvement of the media, you have certain
commitments that prevent you from doing everything you would like to do."
Dunstall spoke to the players collectively and individually last night and
remained confident they would support his reasons for breaking his news on TV.
Several Hawthorn players were in the Live and Kicking audience on Wednesday
"It was a compromised situation I really couldn't do much about," Dunstall
said, "but we respect each other, we like each other and I'm sure they'll
understand why I did it that way.
"I don't regard it as putting the club second. I told the club first of my
decision but whether we do it here or on TV is neither here nor there. Obviously
my loyalties lie to my club but also to my employer."
Meanwhile, he said he was looking forward to closing his career against
"To walk off the ground winning the last game with the teammates I've grown
to love over the last few years would be a great thrill," he said. "I don't want
to be driven around the oval on the back of a car. I want to go out with the
club jumper on and my teammates around me, and I'll get that opportunity on the