Geelong Cat Jimmy Bartel announced his retirement from the AFL yesterday afternoon, after 15 years at the top level and winning three premierships.
Winning a Brownlow Medal in 2007, a Norm Smith Medal in 2011 and making All-Australian in 2007 and 2008 with the Cats – it’s easy to see why Bartel was such a favourite with the Geelong faithful.
There was speculation all year that his career may not go on into the 2017 season, but yesterday his retirement was confirmed.
Bartel told AFL media that he is satisfied with how his 305-game career panned out and understands the cutthroat nature of professional football.
‘’While I still feel I have more to give, I understand the bigger picture and respect the direction the club want to go in. So, therefore, now is the right time to retire from the game,’’ Bartel said.
His premiership coach Chris Scott spoke extremely high of the Geelong home-grown superstar.
‘’Jimmy is the embodiment of what a footballer should be, he will rightly go down as an icon of the Geelong Football Club and has left a lasting mark on everyone he has played with over the past 15 seasons.’’
Bartel and his now famous beard made headlines this season when he opted for no shaving and no haircuts to raise awareness for domestic violence. – Paul Robinson
Photo of Jimmy Bartel and one of his teammates from the Geelong Cats’ Twitter feed.