Wirrpanda edging closer to retirement - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wirrpanda edging closer to retirement

By Justin Shore Chadwick 22/05/2008 02:10:15 PM Comments (0)

West Coast's David Wirrpanda has given the biggest indication yet that this could be his final season ahead of his 200th AFL game this weekend.

Wirrpanda, who was just 16 when he arrived at the Eagles in 1996, said his mind was willing but his body was feeling the effects of a 13-year career.

"It might be this year, it might be next year, I might be standing here with a microphone with you blokes next year, who knows?" Wirrpanda said ahead of West Coast's clash with Adelaide on Saturday night.

"I can understand what Chris Waterman, Chris Mainwaring, Lewy (Chris Lewis), Peter Matera and Dean Kemp used to complain about now.

"I couldn't understand back then, now I do understand the difference between what the mind and body says.

"The body feels a bit like it's 40 but the mind obviously loves to play footy. But you've got to be realistic and I'm a realistic person.

"If the time's right I'll let it go, there's no dramas for me to go to the next chapter of my life."

Wirrpanda, 28, also revealed just how close he was to missing West Coast's premiership triumph over Sydney in 2006 with a hamstring injury.

"I was almost ruled out just about," he said.

"I was very nervous to the point that I didn't really want to risk it, so that was where it was at.

"It was kind of 50-50 after I completed the fitness test at the MCG. That was when the ball was in the coaching staff's box, and they made the call.

"It was a very scary time for myself but I was able to get over the line and be a part of that team and that's something that I share dearly with the rest of my teammates.

"To be able to be labelled as a premiership player - that's an honour that a lot of great champions haven't had ... so I'm just very fortunate to be in that position."

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