Cyril Rioli announces immediate retirement from AFL

By Jason Phelan, Jason Phelan is a Roar Guru

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    Hawthorn superstar Cyril Rioli has dropped a bombshell today, announcing his retirement from football – effective immediately.

    The 28-year-old had been on compassionate leave since early June, travelling with his family to home town Darwin to attend to personal matters.

    Rioli was contracted to the Hawks until the end of the 2020 season but told his teammates of his decision to walk away from the game on Wednesday morning.

    “The decision to retire from football is something that I have thought long and hard about over the past 12 months,” Rioli said via a club statement.

    “I’ve weighed everything up and I am confident the decision I’ve made is the right one for me and my family.

    “Football has been my life but it’s always been difficult being away from home. Now is the right time to go home and spend more time with friends and family.

    “I love the Hawthorn Football Club and I cannot thank them enough for the opportunities they’ve given me and the way they’ve embraced me and my family over the past 11 years.

    “I can walk away from the game having achieved everything I could have ever dreamed of and I’m forever grateful for the opportunities I have received.

    “I’d like to thank the Hawthorn fans for all their support over the years, it has been an honour to play in front of you each week.”

    Rioli made 189 senior appearances for the Hawks, including the 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2015 grand final wins.

    He won the Norm Smith Medal for his part in the 2015 grand final win over West Coast and was an All-Australian on three occasions.

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    The Crowd Says (61)

    • Roar Rookie

      July 4th 2018 @ 10:33am
      WCE said | July 4th 2018 @ 10:33am | ! Report

      I think regardless of what club you support you have to admit Rioli was definitely one of the games true a superstars.
      A player you hated playing against but wished he was on your side. Good luck to him what ever his future plans maybe.

      • July 4th 2018 @ 11:25am
        Birdman said | July 4th 2018 @ 11:25am | ! Report

        Well said.

        England win a penalty shootout now this! What a lousy day.

        Gutted but onya champ.

        • Roar Rookie

          July 4th 2018 @ 12:41pm
          Mattician6x6 said | July 4th 2018 @ 12:41pm | ! Report

          Ugggghhh I’m only 30 mins into it…oh well at least Sweden progressed

          • July 4th 2018 @ 8:44pm
            Birdman said | July 4th 2018 @ 8:44pm | ! Report

            Oops. Soz. for the spoiler guys. Mea culpa.

        • Roar Guru

          July 4th 2018 @ 1:58pm
          Rick Figjam said | July 4th 2018 @ 1:58pm | ! Report

          Damn it. I’ve been waiting for my wife to come home before watching it. I knew I wouldn’t go the day without finding out.

          All the best to Rioli & his family. A true great of the game.

          • Roar Guru

            July 4th 2018 @ 3:43pm
            AdelaideDocker said | July 4th 2018 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

            And it was spoiled for you on the AFL tab of all places!

            Your wife is English, yeah? She’d be happy!

            • Roar Guru

              July 4th 2018 @ 4:17pm
              Rick Figjam said | July 4th 2018 @ 4:17pm | ! Report

              Yeah, I met her while living in the UK. Huge A@$enal fan. It’s what got me into the EPL basically.

              I enjoy following England in the football. You’d be too young, but I was living there during the glory years of Becks. He may not have been the best player, but he certainly was good to watch.

    • Roar Guru

      July 4th 2018 @ 10:41am
      AdelaideDocker said | July 4th 2018 @ 10:41am | ! Report

      A brilliant player, even though I always felt uneasy whenever Freo faced him or the Hawks.

      Good luck, Cyril.

      • July 4th 2018 @ 11:08am
        Alchemist said | July 4th 2018 @ 11:08am | ! Report

        Sheridan…. OH SHERIDAN

    • Roar Rookie

      July 4th 2018 @ 10:44am
      Mattician6x6 said | July 4th 2018 @ 10:44am | ! Report

      Well done Cyril, a timely reminder for most that the best decisions in life are those you make for yourself and your family.

    • July 4th 2018 @ 10:46am
      bilo said | July 4th 2018 @ 10:46am | ! Report

      As a Roos fan I have always loved how Cyril played the game, one of my personal faves in the AFL, I am biased as I grew up watching his Dad play in Darwin, Cyril’s Dad was a tough, tenacious little bulldog on the field and I see a lot of his old man’s determination in his play. Wishing him and his family all the best.

    • July 4th 2018 @ 10:48am
      Franko said | July 4th 2018 @ 10:48am | ! Report

      It’s time for a team from the NT in the AFL.

      Correct me if I am wrong but for the past decade games in Alice/Darwin get as many if not more than GWS.

      If you can prop up a side In Western Sydney, why not prop one up in the Territory.

      • July 4th 2018 @ 11:02am
        Aligee said | July 4th 2018 @ 11:02am | ! Report

        Oh good lord !!

      • Roar Rookie

        July 4th 2018 @ 1:29pm
        Don said | July 4th 2018 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

        Because if you can ever manage to get just 10% of the Sydney population supporting AFL as their primary sport you have 500k people with potential to grow that massively.

        If you get the whole population of Darwin with AFL as their primary sporting code you have 150k people and no more growth.

        And there’s not much additional advertising or sponsorship revenue to be captured from the NT for the AFL.

        Also, Darwin has one major stadium.
        Cricket is played there in the dry season as you can’t play cricket in Summer due to the rain. The NTAFL season is played in the Summer in the wet.

        So, say we put a side in Darwin, the players who don’t make the starting side will have to play in Interstate comps to actually play any footy but somehow still train in Darwin.
        How does that work?

        Tasmania is a better option if a side was ever added or moved.

    • Roar Guru

      July 4th 2018 @ 10:51am
      Dalgety Carrington said | July 4th 2018 @ 10:51am | ! Report

      He was a huge ingredient in Hawthorn’s golden run of success and a big loss to the Hawks and the game in general. Electrifying is probably one of the most applied descriptors to Cyril and his play, with the ability to decisively impact games from the day dot. I remember thinking in the lead up to the ’08 GF that if Rioli had a big game Hawthorn would win, he could add so much from 5 or 6 involvements and provide so much spark to his teammates.

      Hawthorn fans must be going through one of the 5 stages of grief.

      • July 5th 2018 @ 1:31am
        Kurt said | July 5th 2018 @ 1:31am | ! Report

        I’m still totally in denial.

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