Richmond's Polak confirms retirement - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Richmond's Polak confirms retirement

By Roger Vaughan 27/08/2010 07:14:05 PM Comments (0)

Graham Polak will join Richmond team-mate Ben Cousins in AFL retirement, with the brave Tigers tall utility announcing his decision on Friday.

Polak suffered life-threatening injuries when hit by a tram two years ago, but he returned to play five senior matches.

But he suffered concussion in the VFL earlier this season and a television segment last Sunday about players in various football codes suffering brain damage convinced him to retire.

"I didn't really start thinking seriously about it until the past couple of weeks," he told the club website.

"I was actually watching 60 Minutes last Sunday and they had this story on brain injuries in the various football codes.

"I saw this guy, who had brain damage from a hit he'd taken playing rugby league ... I've had more knocks than him, plus I've already suffered a brain injury, in the accident with the tram.

"So, that pretty much triggered me into making the decision to retire."

Polak played 111 senior games - 73 for Fremantle and 38 for Richmond.

Meanwhile, Cousins remains on track to play in Sunday's season-ending game against Port Adelaide at Etihad Stadium.

The Brownlow Medallist suffered a hamstring injury last weekend, but he was not among the omissions when the Tigers announced their final line-up on Friday afternoon.

Matt White will return to the lineup, while Dylan Grimes was named for his senior debut.

Will Thursfield (leg) and David Astbury (hip) are the omissions.

Cousins was the focus of attention this week when the two-part television documentary about his drug addiction was aired.

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou said the league wanted to support Cousins in his rehabilitation once he stops playing.

"If you are someone who has an addiction or has had illicit drug problems, we think it's incumbent on us as a code to make sure if you leave the system, we continue to offer support," Demetriou said.

"I think that's probably the right thing for any compassionate organisation to do because we do want to see Ben continue his recovery."

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