Clement shocks Pies with retirement - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Clement shocks Pies with retirement

23/09/2007 07:02:43 PM Comments (0)

Veteran Collingwood defender James Clement has shocked the club by announcing his retirement from AFL football.

Clement, 31, stunned Magpie insiders when he confirmed that last Friday's AFL preliminary final loss to Geelong was his final match.

Collingwood football manager Geoff Walsh said he had no idea that retirement was an option for Clement at this stage.

"He confided with a few people within the club late this afternoon," Walsh said.

"No-one expected it so it is a big surprise.

"But he was a terrific leader and he'll leave a huge hole on the field and off the field.

"The way he played speaks for itself and he will be sorely missed."

Clement, who made his AFL debut in 1996, played 230 games, including 146 for Collingwood after joining the club from Fremantle in 2001.

He won the Copeland Trophy for Collingwood's best and fairest in 2004-05 and in those years was also an All-Australian defender.

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