Falcons pair to fly off
Anthony Tsalikis.

Two of West Perth's most experienced players, Anthony Tsalikis and Dan Hunt, will retire at the end of the season.

Fitness pending, the close friends will play their farewell match for the club against Perth at Lathlain Park on August 30.

Their departure will leave no more than five players with 100 or more games of league experience left on West Perth's list in 2015, marking a transitional period in the wake of last year's premiership.

Both retirees have been named to take on Peel at Bendigo Bank Stadium this afternoon and could finish their careers on individual highs.

Tsalikis is on course to become West Perth's leading goal kicker in a season for the sixth time, having booted 25 majors this year.

His career tally is 332 goals, and the 31-year-old needs just one more to finish third on the club's all-time list, behind Ted Tyson (1119) and dual premiership player Ray Scott (910).

The achievement is all the more remarkable given Tsalikis has played largely as a lead-up half-forward for much of his 187-game career.

Hunt, 30, has produced one of his most consistent seasons in spite of West Perth's failed premiership defence to be a strong contender to win this year's Breckler Medal as the club's best-and-fairest player.

He spent two seasons on Sydney's list before joining the Falcons in 2005 and emerging as a reliable linchpin of the team's defence across 167 matches.

Tsalikis described retiring from the WAFL as a tough decision, particularly after a shoulder reconstruction kept him out of the 2013 premiership-winning side.

He said his ageing body and increasing work commitments as a civil engineer had been behind his retirement.

Missing out on a premiership medallion is his biggest regret in football.

"It was a tough three to four weeks, seeing the boys win and finally get the premiership," he said. "I played a big part in the year in 2013, but it's just one of those things.

"I've been fortunate enough to be a life member and play a lot of footy in the time I was there. I can't complain about my career."

Hunt said his announcement had been driven by a desire to spend more time with his 16-month-old daughter.

He said playing in a premiership after experiencing six losing finals was his career highlight.

"To go from playing all that footy without any success to finally getting it last year was a pretty big thing for me," he said.

Hunt said he believed the club was still in good shape despite missing the finals this year.

"It's been very frustrating, but in terms of talent the club's got a lot there and pretty good depth," he said.

"I've been fortunate enough to be a life member … I can't complain about my career."" *Anthony Tsalikis *

The West Australian

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