Port Adelaide will bid farewell to one of its most loyal club servants at the end of the season with Justin Westhoff set to retire.
Westhoff notified his teammates on Thursday afternoon that he would not play on next year, but reaffirming his desire to contribute to team success in 2020.
Westhoff was drafted to the club in the 2006 AFL National Draft with pick 71 and won the Gavin Wanganeen Medal as the best player under 21 in his first season.
The 33-year-old is ranked second for AFL games played for the club, currently on 280 games, and won the 2018 John Cahill Medal as best and fairest.
“I’m not getting any younger – I’m 33 going on 34 – and it just seems to the be the right time in my life to move on and try some new things,” said Westhoff.
“Having a young family, I don’t want to miss much more of what my kids are doing, so it just felt like the right time.
Obviously, I’m still looking forward to the rest of this season and hopefully some success at the end of it, but I’m happy with what I’ve done so far and with this being my last year.
“To still be around and to have experienced the things I have over the 14 year’s it’s obviously going to be pretty tough to go, but it’s something I’ll back on in years to come and I’ll be pretty proud of, and to share that with my family and friends is really important to me.
“It goes quickly but there’s no way I would have believed you if back when I was drafted you would have told me I would still be around now and had the friendships I have made, so I feel pretty privileged.”
Port Adelaide Senior Coach, Ken Hinkley described Westhoff as an exceptional character who will leave a legacy amongst his younger teammates.
“Justin is a quiet and unassuming person who doesn’t say a lot, but every word he utters is important,” said Hinkley.
“He has added value to our side with his ability to play a number of roles, and not once has he complained about being shifted week to week or even mid game.
“Westy is everything you wish all players could be – selfless, humble and reliable. He’s a true team player.
“He is so well respected and valued by his teammates and everyone associated with the club and it’s a mark of his selfless character that he has elected to make a call now on his future so as to avoid any distraction for the team during finals.”
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