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Chris Heffernan announces his retirement
The Bomber midfielder, 28, made the decision following discussions with Essendon coach Matthew Knights.
Heffernan said it was clear his opportunities to play senior football beyond 2007 were limited and as such felt the time was right to bring an end to his AFL career.
"I understand Matthew has to make some difficult decisions if he is to get the Club moving in the right direction," Heffernan said.
"I will continue to support the club and I sincerely hope supporters get behind Matthew and the team in 2008.
"I consider myself extremely lucky to have played at Essendon - given the draft you could end up playing anywhere. This Club has great support and I have enjoyed my time immensely and made some great friends."
Coach, Matthew Knights, said Chris was an unselfish, terrific team player.
"First and foremost he is a premiership player who has played his role at Essendon for his team and his team-mates. He is a quality person who is well respected at this Club because he has terrific values," Knights said.
"This year he played a lot with Bendigo and he had an important mentoring role on match day and never let the fact he wasn't playing in the Essendon seniors affect how he went about his game."
- PLAYER PROFILE: Chris Heffernan