The times, they are a’changin’ in the AFL at the moment, and a tumultuous Trade Period has just seen another turn with the announcement that Geelong champion Jimmy Bartel will retire effective immediately, after a glittering and perhaps unparalleled career at the Cattery.
“I wanted to take my time once the season finished before I made this decision. I am forever grateful to have been drafted by the Cats and I hope in some way to have repaid the faith that was shown in me all those years ago.”“While I feel I still have more to give, I understand the bigger picture and respect the direction the club wants to move in. So therefore I have decided the time is now right to retire from the game.”“Over the past 15 years I have played out every dream I ever had and I leave the game satisfied that I have given everything I had in every game. To have played with my home town club and to have shared in the success we have had has been an incredible experience.”
Meanwhile Cats senior coach Chris Scott paid tribute to the retiring 32-year-old, lauding him as an “icon” of the club.
“Jimmy is the embodiment of what a footballer should be. He was fearless, could play multiple roles for the good of the team and was adaptable in a changing game.”“Jimmy will rightly go down as an icon of the Geelong Football Club, and he has left a lasting mark on all those that he has played with over the past 15 seasons. [He] was always prepared and as history has shown, he was at his best in the biggest moments and the biggest games.”
At this stage, Bartel has not (at least publicly) indicated a desire to maintain a post-retirement role in the AFL, whether it be coaching or associated support staff.