Western Bulldogs defender Josh Bruce has called time on his AFL career.
The 31-year-old played 163 matches across 13 years in the AFL, representing the red, white and blue on 50 occasions.
Before arriving at the Kennel, Bruce was an inaugural player at the GWS Giants and a powerful forward at St Kilda.
The former Canberra product was drafted as an ACT zone selection to play with the GWS TAC Cup side in 2010, before competing in the NEAFL in his early seasons.
Bruce’s breakout year came in 2015, a season after being traded to St Kilda, where he kicked 50 goals and finished eighth in the Coleman Medal race, collecting the Club’s leading goalkicker award.
After being traded to the Bulldogs in 2020, Bruce again stamped his authority on the competition with 48 goals in 20 outings during the 2021 campaign.
Bruce finished his career with 234 goals in 163 matches, across three different clubs.
“I moved out of home at 17 to Sydney as a skinny, hyperactive little kid and I’m finishing here as a not-so-skinny, still hyperactive grown man, with two beautiful kids,” Bruce said.
“I can rest my head on the pillow knowing that every gruelling pre-season session, every rehab session and every game at three clubs, I gave my absolute everything.
“I hope I finish with the respect of my peers and coaches for being a resilient, effort-based, hard-working team-mate who never gave up for the team.
“The move to the Bulldogs has been one of the most defining moments of my life. I’ve got so many connections through Rohan Smith coaching me at U16’s level, living with Stewart Edge in my first year at GWS and time spent with Ameet Bains at St Kilda.
“It’s fitting to finish up here and I look forward to exploring some coaching opportunities into the future.”
Senior coach Luke Beveridge lauded the impact Bruce has made across the Club, both on and off the field.
“Josh is an outstanding team man and we’ve been fortunate to have him represent the Bulldogs for the past four seasons,” Beveridge said.
“Despite facing his fair share of adversity, Josh entered the building every day with the same sense of energy and enthusiasm which lifted the playing group and staff around him.
“Josh is a much-loved figure. He should be proud of his time with us, and of everything he achieved in his career which spanned 13 years.
“We wish Josh, Pip, Poppy and Augie all the best for the future, and they know they’re always welcome at the Bulldogs.”
Josh Bruce Career Snapshot
Drafted: 2011 Zone Selection (GWS Giants)
AFL Debut: Round 5, 2012
- GWS Giants inaugural squad member (2011)
- St Kilda leading goalkicker (2015)
- Mark of the Year finalist (2015)
- Western Bulldogs leading goalkicker (2021)
- Sixth Bulldog in V/AFL history to kick 10 or more goals in a single match (2021)