Carlton favourite Eddie Betts says he will retire after his 350th AFL match this weekend, bringing down the curtain on a glittering 17-season career.
- Betts will play his final AFL match this weekend against the Giants
- He enjoyed a stunning career with both the Blues and Crows
- Betts made his senior debut in 2005
Betts will hang up the boots following the Blues’ match against GWS at Docklands in the final round of the home-and-away season.
The 34-year-old took to Instagram to thank his family and fans for their support during his career.
“Thanks for sticking by me through the highs and lows,” Betts wrote on Instagram.
“If I did, I’m happy and my work is done here.”
A three-time All-Australian, Betts has kicked 638 goals with Carlton and Adelaide, and will become the 19th player in AFL/VFL history to reach 350 matches.
He will be the third Indigenous player, after Adam Goodes and Shaun Burgoyne, to reach the milestone.
The proud Wirangu Kokatha man claimed four goal of the year awards across his career.
The Blues had held discussions with Betts about his playing future, before making the decision not to offer him a new contract for the 2022 season.
Blues senior coach David Teague, who played with Betts at the club, said his former teammate would go down as a Carlton great.
“Eddie is one of the game’s most loved characters and he leaves behind an incredible legacy at our club and in our game,” Teague said in a statement.
“He has had a significant impact both on and off the field throughout an unbelievable career, of which I’m honoured to have been a part of, both as a teammate and a coach.
“To have him impart his experience and wisdom on to our younger players over the last two years has been great for our entire group.
“Eddie is loved by everyone, whether you’re a Carlton person or not, that tells you all you need to know about the mark this man has left on our game.”
Betts returned to the Blues in 2020 after six seasons with the Crows, where he lit up Adelaide Oval and kicked a series of remarkable goals from a corner of the ground that became known as “Eddie’s Pocket”.
He was a member of the Crows squad that lost the 2017 grand final to Richmond.
Betts has kicked 33 goals in 38 matches in his second stint with Carlton, including 25 in 13 appearances this season.
He was recruited by the Blues with the number three pick in the 2004 preseason draft, and made his senior debut against North Melbourne in round one the following year.
Betts moved to the Crows ahead of the 2014 season.