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Veteran Bulldog announces retirement


WESTERN Bulldogs veteran Matthew Robbins will retire at the end of the AFL season.

The club announced on Friday Robbins, 30, told his teammates this week that he would bow out at the end of the season, his 12th at the highest level.

The small forward, who booted 132 goals in 145 games, becomes the third Bulldog to confirm his retirement in 2007, following Brett Montgomery and Luke Darcy.

Key-position player Chris Grant, 34, could also follow suit but is yet to announce his plans.

Robbins began his AFL career at Geelong, where he played seven games in two seasons before he was traded to the Bulldogs, although he did not play a game there in 1998 because of persistent hamstring injuries.

He established a place in the side over the next two seasons, and played in the Bulldogs' finals series in 1999-2000.

Robbins enjoyed a strong 2001 season, lost his place in 2002, but became an established senior player from 2003 onwards.

He enjoyed arguably his best season last year, when he booted 45 goals including a bag of five against Sydney in round eight, and played every game, including both finals.

Robbins has played eight games in 2007, but was dropped after the round-16 defeat to Geelong, and was again overlooked for Sunday's game against Hawthorn at Telstra Dome.

Coach Rodney Eade said Robbins had played a senior role in the Bulldogs side for several years, especially in 2006, when he was an integral member of a finals side.

"Matthew came to the Bulldogs almost 10 years ago and has contributed in many ways to our side both and off the field," Eade said.

"He has represented the ethos of our team and proved himself to be a versatile player, adjusting to the team's needs by moving into the forward line in 2004."

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