PORT Adelaide tall Justin Westhoff will bow out of the AFL this year, satisfied with his 14-season career no matter how 2020 finishes.
The one-time Power best-and-fairest told his teammates on Thursday that he would be retiring but is determined to play a role in the club’s tilt at a second premiership.
Westhoff believes the time is right to call it quits as the ladder-leading Power strives to make their first grand final since 2007.
“I’m not getting any younger – I’m 33 going on 34 – and it just seems to be the right time in my life to move on and try some new things,” he said.
“Having a young family, I don’t want to miss much more of what my (four) kids are doing, so it just felt like the right time.
“I’m still looking forward to the rest of this season and hopefully some success at the end of it, but I’m happy with what I’ve done so far and with this being my last year.”
Taken at pick No.71 in the 2006 AFL draft, Westhoff is one of only two Port players from their last grand final appearance.
The other player still at Alberton is Travis Boak, with the pair equal second on the club’s all-time games list with 280, behind record-holder Kane Cornes (300).
Port coach Ken Hinkley praised Westhoff for always putting the team first.
“Justin is a quiet and unassuming person who doesn’t say a lot, but every word he utters is important,” he said.
“He has added value to our side with his ability to play a number of roles, and not once has he complained about being shifted week to week, or even mid-game.
“Westy is everything you wish all players could be – selfless, humble and reliable.”
Playing mostly as a forward, Westhoff has kicked 313 goals for Port to be third in the club’s all-time list behind premiership captain Warren Tredrea (549) and Robbie Gray (333).
Westhoff has played 12 games this season, with his last appearance in Port’s Round 14 win against Sydney.
(C) AAP 2020