Jobe well done: Essendon legend Watson announces retirement

Scott Pryde Roar Guru

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    Essendon Bombers veteran Jobe Watson has announced his retirement from the AFL, with the 2017 to be the last season in a glittering 15-year career.

    Watson, who is one of the best one-club players of the modern era, has played 217 games to date for the Bombers since his debut in 2003. After being picked as No.40 in the draft under the father-son rule, he has gone on to kick 112 goals.

    Should the Bombers miss the finals and if Watson is able to complete the season, he will finish on 220 games. However, with Essendon still very much in the finals race, the midfielder could extend his career by a handful of games.

    The midfielder captained the Bombers for six seasons between 2010 and 2015, was an All Australian in 2012 and 2013 and also part of the team which participated in the 2014 International Rules series against Ireland.

    Watson said he always set out to make the club a better place, but knew this was his last year.

    “I always focused on leaving the club in a better place than I found it and I feel like the club is in that place now,” said Watson.

    “It was a dream of mine to play for Essendon and I’ve lived that dream. From a child who spent my life around the football club to fulfil a dream to play for the club and then to be a captain of the club.

    “I’m content with my career.

    “I have really enjoyed being part of this group with teaching and helping the younger boys,” he added.

    Maybe Watson’s biggest accolade though was being named the best player in the game for 2012, winning the Brownlow Medal. He later handed it back in the wake of the Bombers doping scandal, for which he had already been suspended the entirety of 2016 for.

    Speaking on the Brownlow and suspension, Watson said the medal wasn’t the most important thing to him.

    “The most difficult time was certainly after the WADA finding, having to go through that. The medal didn’t matter to me, it wasn’t important, it was the way in which I played.

    “The guys who were in the same situation with me meant an enormous amount. Part of coming back to footy and what I enjoyed was interacting with my teammates again.”

    He returned for 2017 and has had a solid season with 410 disposals, helping the Bombers into the race for the top eight.

    Scott Pryde
    Scott Pryde

    One of the mainstays of The Roar, Scott Pryde has written over 1,100 articles covering everything from rugby league to basketball, from tennis to cricket. You can follow him on Twitter @sk_pryde.