Dodd calls time on long career
East Fremantle’s Steven Dodd will bring down the curtain on a sterling career at the end of the finals. Picture: Lincoln Baker

Steven Dodd's passion for football is as strong as ever but the pressures of work and family life have finally caught up with him.

The sturdy defender, who is one of only 20 WA footballers to play 100 games for an AFL club and a WAFL club, will retire at the end of East Fremantle's finals campaign.

"I always wanted to go out playing good footy and I am proud to be able to do that," Dodd said last night.

"It was a hard decision but I've got two young kids and the mix with family and work has been getting harder.

"Hopefully I've got one or two or three big efforts left in me."

Dodd, 31, told his Sharks team-mates this week that he would retire when the season ended.

East Fremantle will host Swan Districts in the first semifinal on Sunday with Dodd's likely duel with State teammate Ryan Davis sure to be one of the crucial elements in the game.

"I have always wanted to play on the best players," Dodd said.

"That sort of challenge has always appealed to my competitive nature."

Dodd, who came from local junior club Lynwood-Ferndale, has played 117 games for the Sharks. He also made 101 appearances for Fremantle and has been a regular State player.

His strong display against Victoria in Northam last year was critical in the Black Swans breaking a 22-year drought against the Big V.

His ability to play on all types of attacking players has made him the most versatile and important member of an East Fremantle defence that holds the key to their finals prospects.

It was no different during his time at Fremantle.

Dodd played every game for the Dockers in 2006 when they got through to the preliminary final, before losing to Sydney, and he only missed a handful of games during his period as a regular for the second half of the last decade.

"I've got my name on a locker at Fremantle and at East Fremantle," he said. Perth tough nut Troy Cook is the only other player with a century at the Dockers and his WAFL club.

Dodd's toughest opponents were amongst the most elite members of the AFL.

He relished memorable battles against St Kilda's Nick Riewoldt and Nathan Buckley, of Collingwood, and more than held his own against them.

"St Kilda pushed everyone out of the 50 and left Riewoldt in the goal square with me," Dodd recalled. "It was daunting, especially given his tank and work rate.

"And I played on Buckley in his 250th game when we beat Collingwood at the MCG. That was a good day."

Dodd's WAFL opponents have also been outstanding players with Swans duo Davis and Tim Geappen, Perth's Paul Bevan and East Perth's Josh Smith providing his greatest challenges.

Now he hopes to go one better than 2012 when he won the club best and fairest but was part of a beaten grand final team.

"I've still got plenty to play for," he said. "Just not for long."

The West Australian

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