Majak Daw, the first Sudanese-Australian player drafted into the AFL, has announced his immediate retirement.
The 31-year-old says he walks away from the game with “immense pride” after 11 years and 54 AFL games.
The decision to retire comes after Daw was ruled out for at least a month with a pectoral injury suffered in the VFL.
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“With my current injury troubles, I’ve taken the opportunity to reflect on where I’m at and where I’m heading and in speaking with my management and the club, we’ve all agreed that the timing is right for me to retire from the game,” he said.
“By stepping away at this stage of the season I can focus on the next stage of my life and spend much more time on my most important and favourite job, being a loving and caring father to my son Hendrix.
“I would like to thank my family, friends, teammates, coaches and the wider football community for their support and care during my time in the industry. I walk away from the game with life-long memories, friendships and real pride in what I’ve achieved.”
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Daw, who played all his AFL games for North Melbourne, has spent the past two seasons at Melbourne but failed to make a senior appearance.
The ruck/forward made a miraculous comeback to the game after more than 18 months out after his fall off the Bolte Bridge.
Daw sustained serious injuries in the fall, including broken hips and pelvis, but managed four more appearances for the Kangaroos before being one of 11 players delisted at the end of 2020.
Demons footy boss Alan Richardson said Daw should be “incredibly proud” of what he achieved in the AFL.
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“Maj’s career has had its highs and lows, but to represent his family and the Sudanese community in the manner in which he has, over the course of an 11-year period, is something he should be really proud of,” Richardson said.
“Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to have an on-field impact at AFL level with Melbourne, but to have returned himself to a position to be able to compete and train at the highest level is testament to Majak’s determination.”
Daw made his AFL debut in 2013 in the win over Brisbane.
He kicked 43 goals in his 54 AFL games, and famously claimed the 2016 Mark of the Year.