Western Bulldogs forward Sam Lloyd has announced his immediate retirement from AFL football.
The 30-year-old told his team-mates this week of his decision to step away from the game, after seven years at the highest level.
He finishes his career with 89 games and 114 goals, after arriving at Richmond Football Club as a mature-aged recruit at the end of 2013.
After five seasons at the Tigers, Lloyd crossed to VU Whitten Oval, kicking a career-best 38 goals in his first season in the red, white and blue in 2019, to be the Club’s leading goalkicker.
“I’ve thought long and hard about this decision over the last few weeks and months, and have come to the realisation that the time is right for me to hang up the boots,” Lloyd said.
“I have a chance to pursue some exciting business opportunities outside of the football industry, and I’m keen to take on a different challenge.
“Playing AFL has been an amazing experience, and I’m proud of what I’ve achieved on the field. My journey wasn’t conventional, but I’m just honoured to have played at the highest level.
“I’m extremely grateful to have represented two great clubs, who have given me the chance to live out a boyhood dream.
“I’m thankful to everyone who’s helped me along the road on my football journey. I’ve loved my team-mates and coaches at both clubs, and I can’t thank them enough for the memories and lessons they’ve taught me.”
Lloyd will be remembered as an inside 50 sharpshooter who booted bags of three goals on 15 separate occasions.
“We understand and respect Sam’s decision to announce his retirement, on his terms,” said Bulldogs’ General Manager of List and Recruiting, Sam Power.
“Sam should be extremely proud of what he’s achieved over his career, both at Richmond and the Bulldogs.
“Over the last two years Sam has been a strong leader for our young group, and he has proven to be a respected and admired team-mate. He was a key part of our drive towards making the finals in 2019.
“We wish him all the best for the next phase of his life, and he knows he will always be welcome at our club.”
Lloyd’s retirement will open up a spot on the Bulldogs’ playing list for the 2021 season, with the Club having the option of adding a player in the Pre-Season Supplemental Selection Period, or carrying over a spot for next year’s Mid-Season Rookie Draft.