It will be interesting to see if Round 4, which starts with the Swans versus the Bulldogs at the SCG, brings a sense of order to the 2020 COVID-19 season.
Western Bulldogs veteran Liam Picken has called an end to his AFL career due to ongoing concussion symptoms.
The 32-year-old hasn’t played at AFL level since suffering a head injury in a 2018 pre-season match last March despite valiant attempts to make a comeback over the past 12 months.
Picken, who made his AFL debut in 2009 and has played 198 games, told his teammates on Monday he would retire effective immediately.
With strong AFL bloodlines with his dad Billy a Collingwood star and his brother Marcus and cousin Jonathon also AFL players, Picken became a Bulldogs fan favourite with his performance during the 2016 finals series.
A talented midfielder/forward, he kicked eight goals in four games, including three in the grand final win over Sydney.
Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said the father of three typified the core values of the club.
“We have always had a family-first mentality at the Bulldogs, and that should always be the overriding consideration when it comes to a player’s health and any impact that has on playing football,” Beveridge said.
“Liam can be immensely proud of his achievements.
“He is loved and admired within the club, and universally respected by the whole football public, which is a true indication of the impression he has made on the game.”
Bulldogs Director of Football Chris Grant said the club would continue to support Picken into his retirement.
“Over the last 12 months our focus has been to support Liam by providing him with the best medical care and ensuring his health is our number one priority,” Grant said.
“We will continue to provide off-field assistance for Liam to ensure he has the necessary support to return to full health, including his transition into the next chapter of his working career.”