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Ex-Roo skipper retires

Former North Melbourne skipper Andrew Swallow has announced his retirement. (AAP Image/Joe Castro)

FORMER North Melbourne captain Andrew Swallow has retired with a year left on his AFL contract after failing to secure a move to Gold Coast.

The 30-year-old had hoped to join younger brother David at the Suns and had the Kangaroos’ blessing to explore his options.

But the expansion club opted not to take him on ahead of Thursday’s second list lodgement deadline.

Swallow’s decision to hang up the boots follows what he has described as one of the most-challenging years of his career.

The 224-game veteran was twice dropped to the VFL by the rebuilding Kangaroos and managed just 16 senior games.

“It was a very tough decision to make and it’s with a heavy heart that I’ve chosen to end my AFL career today,” Swallow said.

“I’ve been fortunate to have had a 12-year career with North and I owe a lot to the club for investing in me not only as a player, but also as a person.”

A three-time club best and fairest, Swallow won a reputation as a tough and valued inside midfielder during his best years.

The Perth native increasingly struggled with the speed of the game and was ineffective last season when moved forward.

Kangaroos coach Brad Scott praised Swallow’s leadership after taking over from Brent Harvey in 2012 as captain – a position he held until last year when Jack Ziebell took over.

“There have been few players as brave and determined as Andrew,” Scott said.

“He was an inspirational and dedicated leader that led by example with his tenacity, uncompromising attack on the ball and man, and his professionalism both on and off the field.”

With small forward Lindsay Thomas delisted earlier this month, North will field one of the AFL’s youngest lists next season.

© AAP 2017