Barry Hall says Bulldogs saved him - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Barry Hall says Bulldogs saved him

By Greg Buckle 19/07/2011 06:17:23 PM Comments (0)

Barry Hall says he'll forever be in debt to the Western Bulldogs for giving him the chance to resume his AFL career and end it on a high.

The former Sydney forward had been regarded as a volatile player following a seven-match ban for striking in 2008 and another one-game suspension in 2009.

Even AFL chief Andrew Demetriou felt this was not how it should end for one of the game's genuine superstars.

"The two years I've had here have been the most enjoyable ... really memorable for me," Hall told a media conference on Tuesday.

"I'm forever indebted to 'Rocket' (Bulldogs' coach Rodney Eade) and the footy club for giving me a chance ... because they did take a risk.

"If there was an incident on-field, the first bloke who would be copping it would be probably him and then me.

"They gave me a chance when probably no other club would.

"They put a bit of faith in me that I could change my ways and do good for this football club and I'm glad it's all worked out."

Eade said Hall had redeemed himself in the eyes of the football community.

"He didn't want to be remembered as that sort of person, and I knew he wasn't that sort of person," Eade said.

Hall's 24 goals in nine games this season and last year's tally of 80 make him the only player in VFL/AFL history to boot a century of goals for three clubs.

Hall has been battling an ankle injury in 2011 and can take up to five days to recover from a game.

Hall said resigning from the Swans late in the 2009 season was the lowest point of his career.

Amid concerns over his ageing body and fiery temper, Hall proved the doubters by earning his fourth All-Australian jumper last year.

"I think I'm certainly perceived differently now than when I resigned from Sydney, so that's a good thing," said Hall, who has kicked 715 goals in 283 games.

When asked if he'd leave the game with emotional ties to his three former clubs - St Kilda, Sydney and the Bulldogs - Hall said he'd always be a Bulldogs man.

"As a kid ,I barracked for the Bulldogs. It's funny how things happen," Hall said.

"I'll be certainly supporting them long after my career's gone."

Hall said he was proud of his achievements at Sydney, which include co-captaining the 2005 premiership side and winning the goalkicking seven years in a row.

"(But) you just move on," he said.

Hall said he wouldn't rule out a possible career in boxing.

While hoping to lift the Bulldogs into the finals, Hall is also launching an autobiography next month and getting married in November.

He says part of his motivation for announcing his retirement before round 18 was to give Sydney's fans the chance to say goodbye. The Swans host the Bulldogs on Saturday at the SCG.

"I've certainly done a lot in Sydney and I owe the fans a goodbye," Hall said.

Sydney's 2005 premiership coach Paul Roos and current Swans' mentor John Longmire said they couldn't speak highly enough of Hall's contribution to the club's success.

Hall's decision to throw a left hook at West Coast's Brent Staker behind the play in 2008 earned him a seven-game ban and almost cost him his AFL career, before Eade extended a lifeline.

Staker, who now plays for Brisbane, said Hall would be remembered as one of the great players of his era.

"I don't really think too badly of him. It's part of history," Staker told the afl.com.au website.

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