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Leon Davis retires from Collingwood

Nick Hulett  October 31, 2011 11:50 AM


Leon Davis has announced his retirement from playing at Collingwood after an outstanding 225-game, 12-season career.
 
The pull of family and friends has persuaded the 30-year-old West Australian to make the decision to leave Melbourne and return home.

View CTV highlights of Leon Davis.
 
Davis was selected by Collingwood from WAFL club Perth with the 34th overall pick in the 1999 draft and debuted in the opening round of the following season.
 
He spent most of his career playing as a forward and booted 270 goals, but in 2011 he moved to defence with remarkable success, winning his second All Australian guernsey (his first came in 2009) and finishing top-five in the Copeland Trophy voting for the second time.
 
“I definitely enjoyed my 12 years at Collingwood. I’m proud of what I achieved and it’s sad to be leaving, but I’m looking forward to the next phase of my life,” Davis said.
 
“There were plenty of highs and some lows, but the highs certainly outweighed the lows, and hopefully my family, friends, coaches, teammates and supporters have been proud of what I’ve been able to achieve. It’s been an incredible ride.
 
“I’d like to thank the Collingwood Football Club for all the opportunities they’ve given me, and particularly Mick Malthouse. We arrived at the club at the same time and he helped me immensely throughout my career.

A look back at Leon's career in photos.
 
“I’d also like to thank all my coaches who have been part of my career, and my teammates, with special mention going to Ben Johnson and Rhyce Shaw. We were drafted together and those guys really helped make me feel comfortable and were big reasons why I persisted in the early years.
 
“While I’ll miss being around the club, it’s great for my family to be home. It’s been a long time coming and for my children and partner to be around other family members is something I’m really happy about.”
 
Davis became the first indigenous player to play 200 games for Collingwood when he reached the milestone in round 18 of the 2010 season against Carlton. He was also the first indigenous Magpie to pass the 100-game mark when he did so in 2005.
 
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley praised Davis for his contribution to the club.
 
“Leon has made an outstanding contribution to the Collingwood Football Club and we are very proud of what he has achieved. To be the first indigenous player to reach 200 games at our club has been a magnificent effort. He has been a pioneer,” Buckley said.
 
“The pull to go home has always been very strong but over 12 seasons Leon has maximised his talent and developed into a fine player whose training standards were always very high, and who was admired and respected around the club. He just loves the game.
 
“We were keen for Leon to play on but his heart is set, totally understandably, on being with family, and we wish him well in the next chapter of his life.”

Of his many achievements, Davis is recognised as a premiership player, having been part of the side that drew with St Kilda in the 2010 Grand Final.