Docker Black on verge of walking away - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Docker Black on verge of walking away

By Justin Chadwick 22/07/2008 02:49:07 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle defender Heath Black is on the verge of walking away from AFL football despite being contracted to the Dockers until the end of 2009.

Black, who has been restricted to just six games this season due to injury and suspension, is in talks with the club to work out his best exit strategy and a compensation package.

The 192-game veteran denied on Tuesday he had already announced his retirement "effective immediately", as reported by the Seven Network on Monday night, but said it was unlikely he would play another game for the Dockers.

"They (effective immediately) are the words I want to clarify, that's not the case," Black told Fairfax Radio on Tuesday morning.

"I'm working through, with the footy club and my manager Paul Connors, the best scenario for me moving forward and we are doing that on a day-to-day basis.

"I'm contracted for next year and with that in place obviously you can imagine there's some things we have to work through financially and stuff like that, to work out the best possible scenario for the Fremantle footy club and myself.

"There's got to be a common ground from both parties and that will be achieved, I've got no doubt about that.

"I think over the next couple of days that will be sorted."

Black, who has a shoulder injury that requires surgery and is also battling a degenerative hip problem, said he would join his teammates at training on Wednesday.

The 29-year-old admitted the combination of injuries and personal issues had made season 2008 a "horror" campaign.

"To come off the (pre-season) operations that I did, to have two hips and a hernia done in three weeks, my body weight increased and my metabolism for some reason has changed a little bit, so it was hard to get back down to a playing weight," Black said.

"I felt like my form was getting there but I've got a shoulder injury now and obviously getting reported ... yeah, just a horror year and really hard off-field as well. There's issues that I'm dealing with personally.

"From a personal side it's been that prominent in my life it has affected my football.

"It's been a tough year and AFL footy is a cut-throat business and if you just drop off the boil just that little bit, you just can't catch up."

Black said he wanted to move on to the next chapter of his life, which is likely to include a career in the media.

Taken by Fremantle with pick No.12 in the 1996 national draft, Black played 69 games for the Dockers between 1997-2001 before being traded to St Kilda.

He played 54 games for the Saints in three seasons before being lured back to Fremantle at the end of 2004.

Black will join Peter Bell and Matthew Carr as other Dockers to have retired this season, while Shaun McManus is almost certain to hang up his boots at the end of the year.

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