Peel Thunder captain Brendon Jones will be able to look back fondly on a decorated career when he runs out for his final league game against Subiaco at Medibank Stadium tomorrow.
Jones announced his decision to retire last week after 177 games and two club best-and-fairest awards, one each at original club Perth and Peel.
Despite a lack of team success at both clubs, Jones has been remarkably consistent, which is reflected in the respect his opponents have for him.
In Peel's 17-year history, not many players have worked more tirelessly than Jones, who has never played in a final.
He has been in the top two of Peel's best and fairest in each of his three previous seasons at the Mandurah-based club, winning last year's top award, and is on track for another high finish.
Only East Fremantle midfielder Rory O'Brien (565) has won more possessions than Jones (506) this season.
At 27, there his no doubt Jones had the ability to continue playing. But his personal life came into consideration after a decade of league football.
Jones is getting married at the end of the year and is looking to continue playing football in a less demanding country league. He said the decision to retire was not an easy one.
"I'm still getting a kick, which makes it harder, and obviously with the footy club where it's at with the alignment model it would've been good to hang around for another couple of years," Jones said.
"But at the end of the day it just felt like the right time. We had a Sunday game (last week) so I told the players on Saturday morning. Footy is a huge part of your life, so you do get a bit emotional at those things."
It has been a tough year for Peel, who were expected to show signs of improvement and climb the ladder, but are now destined for another wooden spoon.
The Thunder have just three wins going into tomorrow's game against eighth-placed Subiaco, their last of the season.
But Jones believes the club is on the right track and will benefit from the full alignment with Fremantle next year and leadership of coach Cam Shepherd.
"I think they're in a really good place with the alignment and the coaching staff there," Jones said."This year has been a bit hard because we tried to start fresh and put new things in place. But we've taken a few little steps and next year with the full alignment … it will be really exciting."