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Demons defenders call it a day

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MELBOURNE defenders Nathan Brown and Clint Bizzell will play their last AFL game on Sunday after announcing their retirements.

The Demons' round 22 match against Carlton at the MCG will be Brown's 145th game in the red and blue, while Bizzell will retire after 163 AFL games, including 75 with Geelong.

In a statement released by the club, Brown said he would "remember my days here forever" and now was the "right time to finish and start the next chapter of my life with my young family".

"I've enjoyed my time at Melbourne, it's been 10 great years. It's been a lot of hard work but I believe I have got the most out of myself," Brown, 31, said.

Bizzell, who along with Brown informed teammates of his decision before training on Wednesday, said he will leave with some "amazing memories".

"It's the right time for me to finish, with my body telling me, mentally and physically that this weekend is a good time to do so," the 31-year-old said.

"It's been a great 12 years in AFL football."

Caretaker Melbourne coach Mark Riley paid tribute to both players, describing Brown as a "super person" in the mould of Daniel Ruettiger, a student at the United States' University of Notre Dame who achieved his dream of playing for the school's famous football team despite standing at just 167cm, weighing less than 75kg and suffering dyslexia.

"The little fella reminds me of 'Rudy', the character out of the Notre Dame gridiron movie of the same name. His spirit and energy around the club is infectious," Riley said.

Of Bizzell, Riley said everyone will never forget his tough, uncompromising approach to the game.

"His football signature will be the bravery he played with," Riley said.

"He consistently put his body on the line going back with the flight of the ball and played out of his weight division nearly every game."

Brought to you by AAP
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