K rock Football

Over and out for Magpie great

Derek Fitzsimmons has announced his retirement. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

NORTH Geelong great Derek Fitzsimmons has announced his retirement.

The 38-year-old will call time following Saturday’s clash with Geelong West at Keith Barclay Oval, saying his body “has had enough”.

“I was fairly sore the last couple of weeks and I just decided that there’s no point anymore; I’ve been doing it long enough,” the man affectionately known as ‘Dessy’ said.

“My young bloke’s (Declan) started his footy career in the under-9s, and if I’m going to be playing at 12 o’clock, it pushes into his game time sometimes.

“So, I’ve decided to just totally pull the pin and concentrate on being a full-time parent watching footy.

The 38-year-old, who has played 260 games (239 senior) at North Geelong on top of 50 at Anakie, will bow out as local football’s most decorated players.

He’s a seven-time best-and-fairest winner at the Magpies after claiming the same award twice at the Roos in 2003-4, was a key part of North’s 2013 premiership and a regular member of the GDFL interleague squad and GDFL Team of the Year.

Fitzsimmons also won the Tansing Medal as league reserves best-and-fairest in 2018 after choosing to spend the year in the second playing under good mate Darren Mathisen.

“I’m definitely going to miss the competitiveness of being able to run around against players trying to beat you,” he said.

“And I’m really going to miss Tuesday and Thursday nights with the boys.

“Where else do you get an excuse to get out of the house and hang out with your mates.

“That’s the bit I’m going to miss the most, I think.”

While comfortable with his decision, Fitzsimmons reality that he’s chosen not to go on will sink in come Round 1, 2020.

“I’ll definitely get the urge (to play), definitely,” he said.

“Whether I can restrain myself from playing, I think I should be right.

“I’m not going to have trouble missing the training all the way up to Round 1 – that’s going to be the easy bit.

“It’s that fresh feel of Round 1, ready to go, that’s when the urge will be there … it’ll be a different feeling just sitting there watching.”

Fitzsimmons will still be a fixture at Keith Barclay Oval despite not putting on the boots.

“I’ll probably still be there on Thursday nights,” he quipped.

“I’ll renew my Silver Magpie (coterie group) membership and I’ll be there most weeks cheering them on.”

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