Burns ends career
By Jason Phelan 9:03 AM Mon 22 September, 2008
COLLINGWOOD captain Scott Burns announced his retirement from AFL football at the Lexus Centre on Monday morning.
Burns, who was flanked by president Eddie McGuire and coach Mick Malthouse as he made the announcement, cited ongoing back, neck and hip complaints as the major factors behind the decision.
"I pretty much knew mid-year that I was done, body-wise. So it hasn't been a terribly hard decision to make over the last week or so," Burns said.
"I just knew I was really close to completely stopping and I just didn't want to go to the well once too often. You want to leave something [positive behind] when you leave the place and next year you could go out and nearly have a detrimental effect to the team and the players if you're not quite up to it."
Burns played 264 games after making his debut back in 1995 and succeeded club legend Nathan Buckley in the top job; a position he feels he grew into as the season progressed.
"At the start of the year I didn't quite realise the extent of what being the Collingwood captain meant," he said.
"So as much as I am privileged to have played for Collingwood over 14 years, I'm extremely proud to have been captain."
McGuire paid tribute to the quiet leader whose actions did most of the talking.
"He's been an amazing player for this football club. [At] pick No.90 he was unassuming when he came in and, despite being one of our greatest ever players and one of our tremendous leaders, he's unassuming as he goes out the door as well," McGuire said.
"When it's been tough in a game you look for Burnsy. When it's been tough off the field you look to Burnsy. He has been one of those wonderful people that you get in a football club that you're able to build a foundation on."
Malthouse was equally effusive with his praise and felt Burns' career would have a lasting effect on the club.
"Burnsy has left a footprint on this football club; one of hardness, one of fairness and I think one of durability because he's not the biggest player," Malthouse said.
"That footprint will be looked at, studied and hopefully taken up by some of the younger players that are going to be in our leadership group next year."
Both coach and president also felt Burns' decision not to play against St Kilda in the sudden-death semi-final on a suspect calf was a sign of his desire to always put the team first.
The 33-year-old has already attracted interest from other clubs who are keen to add him to their coaching panel. He will be holding discussions with all interested parties in the coming weeks.
"We'll just have to sit down and assess where everything is going and make the right decision," Burns said.
"I love the industry so I'd love to stay involved. We've kept pretty quiet in terms of making contact with too many people but now that I'm officially retired it's a matter of sitting down and discussing things and finding out where we'll go from there."
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