West Coast defender Beau Waters has announced his AFL retirement, with a debilitating shoulder injury proving too hard to overcome.
Waters, 28, hasn’t played for more than 18 months due to a series of complications and setbacks to his reconstructed right shoulder.
The premiership defender was on track to return to playing duties during the upcoming NAB Challenge series, but a knock to the shoulder at training last week put those plans on hold.
Waters met with coach Adam Simpson on Wednesday night to discuss his future, before advising teammates on Thursday morning about his decision to retire.
Serious groin, elbow, and shoulder injuries limited Waters to just 120 games over a career spanning 11 years.
His participation in West Coast’s 2006 premiership triumph and an All-Australian guernsey in 2012 were his career highlights.
“With free agency, the club has decided to lock down my contract nice and early,” Waters joked, before adding: “Obviously I’ve decided to retire from the game.
“I came to the decision in the last week. I thought it was important to tell the playing group first.
“It’s been a great journey. I don’t have too many regrets. I’ve been very fortunate to be a part of a successful team. We won the 2006 premiership.”
Waters said he realised he had to retire following his slow recovery from a knock to his shoulder last week.
“I just went to grab a ball and got hit in a certain direction that jeopardised the integrity of the shoulder,” Waters said.
“From them on, it got progressively worse to the point where I was struggling to get through skills sessions.
“The rest of my body feels great.
“All my other ailments – I worked tremendously hard on fixing those. So I leave the game in good shape.
“I’m probably not going to take up arm wrestling though. But apart from the shoulder, I’m feeling good.”
Waters says he will take a break from the game before weighing up what direction to take next.