Bulldogs champion Matthew Boyd calls time on stellar career

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    Right to the end, Matthew Boyd has wrung everything possible out of his outstanding AFL career.

    The Western Bulldogs premiership defender is the latest veteran to confirm he will retire at the end of this season.

    The 34-year-old former Bulldogs captain has played 291 senior games – the most by a rookie-listed player.

    Boyd said at Tuesday’s announcement that he had no regrets about continuing his playing career for one more season.

    There was plenty of speculation after last year’s premiership triumph, but Boyd decided to keep going.

    He has only played nine AFL games this season and an ongoing leg injury means Boyd will not play in Friday night’s blockbuster against GWS.

    “I guess the questions will come … about the decision to play on and whether it was the right one,” Boyd said in his retirement speech at a packed media conference.

    “For me, I’m really comfortable.

    “I have no regrets in making that decision.

    “I’m proud of how I’ve gone through that period of my life and I think my character has shone through and I’ve handled myself with integrity.”

    Boyd, a three-time All Australian and three-time Bulldogs best and fairest winner, joins Nick Riewoldt, Luke Hodge, Matthew Priddis, Sam Mitchell and Adelaide’s Scott Thompson in confirming this season will be his last.

    “I’m a little bit embarrassed to be in the same year as some of those guys … it’s quite humbling,” he said.

    Boyd also paid tribute to former Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade, whose sacking was also announced on Tuesday.

    “Without Rocket, I probably wouldn’t still be playing the game today,” he said.

    “The guidance and support he gave to me early in my career, he gave me belief in myself when I probably didn’t have any – he gave the group belief we could achieve something.”

    Boyd has been renowned as a fiercely-driven competitor, but he showed his dry sense of humour throughout his media conference.

    “It’s a big turnout to announce a new contract extension, Bevo, isn’t it?” he said, with coach Luke Beveridge sitting next to him.

    With wife Kate and their three children Chloe, Asher and James looking on, Boyd noted that their elder daughter has picked up on her Dad’s serious side.

    “She (Chloe) knows the day before a game, because she says ‘Dad, you’re even more grumpy than usual’,” Boyd said.

    But Beveridge also noted that Boyd is an adored and loved figure at the Bulldogs.

    © AAP 2017