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Nigel Lappin calls it quits

By Jennifer Witham 12:45 PM Tue 19 August, 2008

Nigel Lappin announces his retirement from football in Brisbane on Tuesday

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BRISBANE Lions veteran Nigel Lappin has brought the curtain down on an illustrious 15-year career by announcing his retirement from football.

Lappin, 32, has finally succumbed to a persistent achilles injury that has kept him from playing since round four this year.

The triple premiership player, who ends his career fifth on the Brisbane Lions' games record tally behind Kevin Murray (333 games), Marcus Ashcroft (318), Alastair Lynch (306) and Michael Voss (289), has been forced out of the game by the nagging complaint that has restricted him to just the four appearances in 2008.

He aggravated the injury at training last week, which raised speculation his career was coming to a close given that his contract expires at the end of the year.

In February this year, Lappin said he was unsure about whether or not he wanted to go on into 2009.

"It's hard to say. It's not something I think about a hell of a lot at this stage," he told lions.com.au at the club's AFL Telstra Community Camp in Townsville.

"Towards the end of the season, I'll weigh it up and see where I'm at. For me, physically, I think I'll always be okay, barring any major sort of injury.

"It's more just how I'm coping playing for say, the 15th time, or fronting up for my 15th season.

"So, towards the end of the year, I'll make my mind up whether I can go around again. A lot of that will depend on how I'm playing, and whether I can still get a kick and if I'm still contributing."

Lappin, who was the oldest player at the club this year, has enjoyed a decorated career that includes the Lions' three premierships in 2001-03, a best and fairest (2004), four All-Australian guernseys (2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004), International Rules representation (2001), and the Lions' best finals player award (2001).

He played 16 games in 2005 after battling hip, knee, leg and ankle problems, but still managed to appear for his 250th milestone in his 12th year.

He then missed the entire 2006 season with an ankle problem, but came back last year to average almost 27 disposals across 18 games, which was a career-high output.

Lappin retires with 279 senior appearances to his name, having been drafted by the then-Brisbane Bears with pick No.2 overall in the 1993 National AFL Draft.
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