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Brett Ebert announces retirement

August 21, 2013 9:11 AM

Brett Ebert

Brett Ebert

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To end my career as a one-club player through the SANFL and into the AFL is something that I’ll always cherish.
PORT ADELAIDE FORWARD Brett Ebert has announced his retirement from AFL football.

Ebert, who has battled adductor, calf and hamstring injuries throughout the season, informed his team mates this morning of his decision.

The 2003 Magarey Medallist will be farewelled with a lap of honour at AAMI Stadium ahead of the Power’s Round 23 clash against Carlton.

Ebert, who turns 30 in November, played 166 games for the Power and kicked 240 goals, the third most in the club’s AFL history.

He enjoyed a breakout year in 2007, when he kicked a club-high 56 goals, gained a nomination for All-Australian selection and represented the Power in the Grand Final.

Ebert was recruited to the club as a father-son selection in the 2002 National Draft. His father Russell was a four-time Magarey Medallist, three-time premiership player and 392-game club legend from 1968 to 1985.

When assessing his career Ebert said he was incredibly fortunate to have been a one-club player at a club he grew up dreaming to play for.

“The Port Adelaide Football Club means everything to me,” Ebert said.

“It has been a massive part of my family and my upbringing. I grew up loving the club and then to be able to be drafted to the club as a father-son pick was just unbelievable.

“And to end my career as a one-club player through the SANFL and into the AFL is something that I’ll always cherish.”

Ebert said the decision to retire wasn’t difficult in the end.

“I have been battling persistent injuries right throughout the season and just couldn’t get my body right. All along I probably thought this was going to my last year anyway, so although disappointing to go out with injury, it was a pretty easy decision in the end,” Ebert said.

Despite the disappointment of an injury-riddled 2013, Ebert looks back on his career with great fondness.

“I had a great time here at Port Adelaide. I was lucky enough to be part of two Grand Final campaigns,” Ebert recalled.

“After playing 16 games in 2004 I was an emergency for the victorious Grand Final side. Although I didn’t play on the day, I still definitely felt part of it, travelling with the team and taking part in the Grand Final motorcade through the streets of Melbourne.

“In 2007, despite the disappointing result, the whole experience of Grand Final week and playing on the big stage is something I’ll never forget as well.

“And late in my career it was a great thrill to play 16 games with my cousin Brad after he returned home last year. Having him around really motivated me to get more out of my footy career and it gave me a new lease on life,” Ebert said.

Ebert thanked all his coaches and team mates for their support across his career but reserved special praise for the volunteers that make the club tick.

“I thank ‘Dad’s Army’ and the entire club’s volunteer staff for their support and friendship during my career,” Ebert said.

“Our boot studder Alfie Trebilcock was cleaning and sprigging my dad’s boots when he was playing and he’s still here at the club doing the same role today. It’s people like Alfie and the ladies upstairs in the player’s kitchen that prepare our lunches that make this football club so great.

“You don’t realise how much our volunteers do to make our job as footballers easier and their effort to support the club and help it prosper is something that will stay with me forever,” Ebert said.

Port Adelaide senior coach Ken Hinkley said he’s disappointed he didn’t get the opportunity to coach Ebert in an AFL game.

“From an opposition coach’s point of view I always saw Brett as a very dangerous and clever player that was always hard to match up on and added an important element to the Power’s forward line structure,” Hinkley said.

“And as a coach here at Port Adelaide I saw that first-hand across the pre-season. I was desperate to get Brett fit and healthy so that he could play a role for us up forward but unfortunately his body just didn’t allow him to do that.

“It must be said that it was not due to a lack of effort that Brett couldn’t get back on the park this season. He gave everything and more to get his body right and his attitude and commitment to his rehabilitation was first class and a great example to others.”

Hinkley said Ebert would be remembered as one of Port Adelaide’s most popular players both from the terraces and within the changerooms.

“Brett will be remembered as a very popular Port Adelaide player. With his father Russell, uncle Craig and cousin Brad all playing for the club, Port Adelaide is very much his family club and he’ll be remembered as a significant part of that great family who have done this club so proud,” Hinkley said.

“And Brett was incredibly popular amongst his team mates. He’ll be remembered around the club as a fun person and a bit of a prankster with his team mates.

“Certainly during my time at the club I always found Brett to be very coachable and a player who always wanted to be part of a team and wanted to help the team succeed.

“Brett is always welcome at the club and I, and I’m sure all his team mates, would love to still see him around the place well into retirement.”

BRETT EBERT FACT FILE

Age: 29 (D.O.B. 18/11/83)
Drafted: 2002 AFL National Draft 3rd round father-son selection from Port Adelaide (SANFL)
AFL debut: Round 2, 2004 v West Coast at Subiaco
AFL games: 166
AFL goals: 240 (3rd most for the Power)
Honours: Magarey Medal 2003; NAB AFL Rising Star nominee 2004; All-Australian nominee 2007; Club leading goalkicker 2007; Grand Final side 2007