Steven Motlop announces retirement

PORT ADELAIDE forward Steven Motlop has announced his retirement, effective immediately, after 217 AFL games.

Motlop, 31, arrived at Alberton through free agency at the end of 2017, adding 82 AFL games and 54 goals to the 135 games and 175 goals he recorded in nine seasons at Geelong.

Across his 14 seasons at the highest level, the Northern Territory product became renowned for his cleanness in possession, his craftiness around goal and his ability to provide moments of brilliance to spark his side.

Port Adelaide people will fondly remember Motlop for his two goals on debut against Fremantle, his match-winning goal late in his first Showdown in May 2018, and for countless classy on-field contributions since.

Steven Motlop celebrates his 2018 Showdown winner with teammate Sam Powell-Pepper. Image: AFL Photos.

Motlop told his teammates of his decision on Tuesday morning.

“14 years is a long time in the game, especially in the position I play,” he said of his decision.

“It was always a childhood dream to play in the AFL and I’ll always be grateful to Geelong and to Port Adelaide for giving me the opportunity to achieve that dream.

“As a kid you just want to play in finals. I played in five preliminary finals and while it would have been nice to have won one, playing in those big games alongside my teammates is something I’ll always look back on fondly.

“There’s been a rich history of my family playing at Port Adelaide and to be able to get the opportunity come over to Adelaide, where my family was set up was a big part of why I moved across and it means a lot to say I had the chance to play at the club where I have such strong family links.”

He thanked his coaches and teammates over his journey and reserved special praise for his partner Kelly and his parents.

Steven Motlop will be remembered fondly by Port Adelaide and Geelong fans alike, known for his classiness and ability to spark a game. Image: AFL Photos.

Port Adelaide senior coach Ken Hinkley was Motlop’s line coach when he first arrived at Geelong in 2009 and said beyond his skills, speed and work rate, he had always been a good teammate.

“I was with Steven at the start of his AFL journey and also now at the end,” Hinkley said.

“He has left us with some extremely fond memories with some telling contributions in key moments but often with Steven his work might have gone unnoticed by many. What I can say is that he has always been a really good teammate and has always done good things for us at Port Adelaide.

“The Motlop name is a strong one at our club. It feels like Steven has been here forever. He has made himself part of the Port Adelaide family, and he always will be.”

Motlop averaged 16.8 disposals and more than one goal per game across his career.

He joined Geelong with pick 39 in the 2008 National Draft and was nominated as an AFL Rising Star in 2012 and part of the All-Australian squad in 2013. Motlop was twice named as part of the AFLPA’s 22under22 team (in 2012 and 2013) and represented Australia in International Rules in 2013.

In 2015, he finished runner-up to Mark Blicavs as Geelong’s best and fairest.

Motlop has strong family links to Port Adelaide. His brother Daniel played for six seasons with the Power between 2006-2011 and his cousin Marlon also represented the club between 2008-2011.

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