Veteran Brett Deledio has called time on his decorated 15-year-career with the two-time All Australian set to retire at the end of the 2019 season.
Deledio has had stellar career, playing 274 games and kicking 197 goals for Richmond and the GIANTS since being selected with pick one of the 2004 AFL Draft.
He burst on to the AFL scene, making his debut in round one, 2005 and winning the Rising Star Award in his first season.
He won the Jack Dyer Medal as Richmond’s best and fairest player in 2008 and 2009 and showed his remarkable consistency at the elite level by winning All Australian honours in 2012 and 2015.
Deledio was vice-captain at the Tigers from 2013 to 2016 before seeking a fresh start at the GIANTS ahead of the 2017 season.
GIANTS General Manager of Football Wayne Campbell paid tribute to Deledio.
“I’ve known Brett for a long time and what he’s achieved in the game is a credit to not only his natural ability but his want to compete and continually improve himself," he said.
“It was a really easy decision for us to try and get him up here at the GIANTS and he’s provided so much to our football club in three short years.
“His body has thrown plenty of curveballs at him over the past few years but the way he’s handled himself has been all class and when he has got onto the field he’s constantly reminded us of how good a player he is.
“The way he has handled the latter part of his career will set himself up well for his life post-playing career.
“He’s had a career many would dream of and everyone at the GIANTS wishes Brett, his wife Katie and their daughters Milla and Charlotte all the best with what’s to come.”
Deledio reflected on his 15 seasons at the elite level.
“I’m really proud of what I’ve been able to achieve in my career,” he said.
“I’d like to thank the players and staff both past and present at the Richmond footy club, which was my home for over a decade.
“I’m so proud to have played 243 games in the yellow and black and to have achieved two best and fairests and two All Australians there.
“I played my best footy as a Tiger but I’m so grateful for the opportunity the GIANTS presented me at the end of 2016.
“It’s no secret I needed a fresh start and to be able to do that at a new club like the GIANTS has been unbelievable for me.
“I would have loved to have played a lot more footy in the orange guernsey but it wasn’t to be and it taught me the influence I can have on the group without being out on the field.
“I’d like to thank everyone at the GIANTS, particularly the medical staff, for their support over this period.
“The past few years have been really tough, both on and off the field. But it showed me that football isn’t everything and I’m really looking forward to the next chapter of my life with my family.”
Deledio suffered a calf injury last Friday night which will sideline him for the next three to four weeks but the veteran is determined to play again this season and will be pushing to make a return in the club’s first final.
The GIANTS take on the Western Bulldogs at GIANTS Stadium on Sunday at 3:20pm.
Brett Deledio Career Honours
- 274 games
- 197 goals
- 2004 number one draft pick
- 2005 Rising Star
- Richmond Best and Fairest 2008, 2009
- All Australian 2012, 2015