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The end for a trio of Tigers

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THREE Richmond players - Ray Hall, Trent Knobel and Kent Kingsley - have announced their retirement from AFL football.

All three cited injury problems as the reason behind their decision to retire.

Hall made his AFL debut with Richmond in the final home-and-away round of the 1999 season. He went on to play 99 games and kick 28 goals for the Tigers.

A suspension last season prevented him from playing his 100th game for the club last year and a serious hip injury sidelined him for the entire 2007 season.

“It’s been a great nine years and I’ve really enjoyed it,” Hall said.

“There’s been some highs and some lows.

“I’m certainly going to look back on this chapter of my life as a great time.

“I think one of the best things about footy is the people you work with. I’ve certainly worked with some great people over the years. I’ve become a better person than when I started footy and I’m proud of that.”

Tigers coach Terry Wallace said the 26-year-old would be missed around the club.

“He’s been a popular figure around Tigerland over the past eight years and has given the team very good service in a variety of on-field roles,” he said.

“His flexibility made him a most valuable member of the side. We wish Ray all the best for the future and know that he’ll continue to take a keen interest in the Tigers’ fortunes.”

Trent Knobel also failed to play a senior game this year due to a persistent ankle injury.

The 27-year-old was Richmond’s No.1 pick in the 2005 NAB AFL pre-season draft following stints at the Brisbane Lions and St Kilda.

He played 21 games with the Tigers and kicked five goals, taking his overall AFL tally to 75 games and 12 goals.

“I’m very disappointed that’s it’s (my career) been cut short by the ankle injury but in saying that I’m looking forward to the next chapter in my life,” Knobel said.

“I’m very thankful to the Richmond Football Club for throwing me a lifeline when they did. I’ve enjoyed my football here at Richmond as much as I’ve enjoyed it anywhere.”

Knobel will return to live on the Gold Coast and hopes to play local football when his ankle settles down.

Wallace commended Knobel for his contribution to the club: “He was our No.1 pick in the 2005 pre-season Draft.  He had a very solid debut season with us in ’05, playing 18 games and really giving us some drive at the centre bounces and stoppages in his role as the team’s No.1 ruckman.”

The Tigers’ other retired player, Kent Kingsley, says he plans to get away from everything with an extended holiday to South America after what’s been a frustrating year of injuries.

Kingsley, 28, was the Tigers’ first pick in the 2007 NAB AFL pre-season draft after a career at Geelong, which saw him win the Cats’ leading goalkicker award on four occasions, and the Kangaroos.

He was restricted to just three senior appearances with Richmond this season due to injury.

“I think I stood up in front of the group and said this time last year that I’d only missed one game in 10 years through injury and I think that’s backfired on me,” Kingsley said.

“It’s been a frustrating year. I don’t think I could go through it again.

“There comes a point where you put so much on hold to be an AFL footballer and make so many sacrifices, that it’s time to go and have a look at the rest of the world I think.”

Terry Wallace complimented Kingsley on the way he had handled his injury woes.

“I’ve got to say with the frustration Kent’s had during the season he’s handled himself magnificently around the group and had an air of professionalism about everything he’s done. I think he taught some of our players about what being a professional footballer is all about.”

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