MELBOURNE'S Corey Maynard has announced his retirement, set to step away from the game at the end of the season.
The midfielder made the announcement on Friday afternoon, putting an end to his AFL career after a tough run with injury.
“It’s really unfortunate for Corey, as he just hasn’t been able to have a clear run at it recently,” General Manager of Football Operations Josh Mahoney told Melbourne Media.
“The impact Corey has had on the club should not be measured by the number of games he has played. His leadership, professional attitude and care for the club has had a major influence on his teammates.
“His commitment has been sensational over the past three seasons.”
Maynard went down with a hip injury early last season, and despite playing sporadically in the VFL since, hasn’t fully recovered.
Although it’s a disappointing end for the 27-year-old, who played two AFL games after being recruited to the club as a Category B rookie in 2017, he is content with his choice.
“I’m really comfortable with the decision I’ve made to retire from the game,” Maynard told Melbourne Media.
“Obviously I’m bitterly disappointed with how things have panned out for me from a physical standpoint over the past 18 months.
“The game doesn’t owe you anything and unfortunately my hip can no longer meet the demands of the AFL game.
“I knew changing sports at the age of 25 was going to be a challenge, but that was a risk I was prepared to take.”
Maynard switched over to football after a successful basketball career, playing for the Cairns Taipans and Townsville Crocodiles in the NBL, and for US college team Bryant University.
Despite the move testing him at times, it’s one that has only been of benefit to him as both a person and athlete.
“Making the switch from the NBL was an incredibly difficult decision, but I have absolutely no regrets,” Maynard said.
“The genuine care, time and effort that Melbourne people dedicated to helping me transition successfully made it worth it alone.”
A much-loved figure of the red and blue, Maynard holds nothing but gratitude for this chapter in his sporting career.
“I’ve loved every minute of my time at Melbourne, and despite our struggles this year, I genuinely believe the club is building something special,” he said.
“I will be forever grateful to Melbourne for allowing me to live out another childhood dream.”
Maynard plans to play out the remainder of the season with the Casey Demons in the VFL.