Josh Gibson of the Hawks playing against the Lions.
Josh Gibson of the Hawks playing against the Lions. JULIAN SMITH

Three-time Hawks flag winner joins list of retiring stars

TRIPLE premiership Hawthorn defender Josh Gibson has become the latest AFL veteran to announce his retirement.  

The 33-year-old confirmed on Tuesday that he will not play again, having asked the club not to give him a farewell game in place of one of the club's youngsters.

"I've probably known for most of the year that this would be my last season," Gibson said.  

"I still love coming to the club every day, but as we've seen over the past couple of months there are several young guys ready to take over the reins in the back end and I'm more than happy to step aside for them.  

"Since getting injured in round 12, I've been working really hard in my rehabilitation, but I'm only back to around 75% fitness and given the development of our young defenders, I'm content with the fact that I won't play another game of AFL footy.  

"While I'd love to run out in the brown and gold one more time, I'd never do so at the expense of a young player with their whole career ahead of them. I'm satisfied knowing that I'll leave the club with nothing left in the tank and with memories and friendships that'll last a lifetime."  

Gibson, who started his career at North Melbourne, played 225 games across 12 years after being recruited as a 21-year-old rookie at the Kangaroos.  

He played 65 games for North Melbourne before leaving for Hawthorn in 2010, playing a key role in the club's three consecutive premiership wins in 2013, 2014 and 2015.  

In two of those premiership seasons, Gibson was a Hawthorn best and fairest winner. He was also an All-Australian in 2015.

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