Fierce St Kilda champion Jarryn Geary retires

Former St Kilda captain Jarryn Geary has announced his retirement from the AFL.

After failing to recover from injuries, the veteran Saint has decided it’s time to hang up the boots.

Geary made 207 appearances for the Saints after being picked up with pick 58 in the 2006 Rookie draw.

After being elevated to the main roster and making his debut in 2008, the champion had an influential career, including captaining the Saints from 2017 to 2021.

The 34-year-old suffered major setbacks in the final stage of his career. As he tried to push through and make a comeback, the injuries eventually took their toll and he retired, effective immediately.

Over the past four seasons, the versatile Saint has succumbed to a quad problem that required emergency surgery, a broken leg and shoulder reconstruction.

Unfortunately for him and the Saints, this meant he could only play 24 games during that period.

The 34-year-old fought back tears and told his team-mates: “I just wanted you to trust me and that’s all I want for you,” he said.

“I’ve enjoyed the journey I’ve been on, but it’s time for me to retire from the football club. It’s something I’ve loved and cherished for 15 years of my life,” he said.

To show how valued he was within the walls of Moorabbin and the trust the hierarchy of saints had in him, he was entrusted with the captaincy of club legend Nick Riewoldt. They were huge shoes to fill, but Geary did it with class.

He led the club through a difficult period and yet was a shining light, leading the younger brigade to higher standards.
The former skipper was unable to add to his 207 games this year due to injuries. The former skipper’s decision comes after the 34-year-old was expected to undergo a full shoulder reconstruction.

St Kilda coach Brett Ratten praised Geary’s contribution to the club.

“We would not be in the position we are in today without Gears’ leadership, honesty and courage, and on behalf of the club I would like to thank him for all he has done for St Kilda,” said the Saints coach.

“It’s always sad when one of your great fighters calls out the time, but you can’t help but be immensely proud of all Jarryn has achieved and done for this football club.

“He has led the club through some challenging times and pushed those around him to consistently improve and set a high standard,” said the 51-year-old coach.

Chief Operating Officer Simon Lethlean also praised Geary’s contribution and service to the club over a long period of time.

“Gears hangs the shoes as one of the most influential and committed players to represent red, white and black,” said Lethlean.

“As a captain and leader with a long track record, Jarryn has really put the improvement of this club first and has been unwavering in that mission for a decade,” he said.

And while he couldn’t taste the success of the premiership, Geary still encourages his teammates in their pursuit of premiership glory.

“I know sooner rather than later you will succeed if you keep digging in and hopefully you can keep climbing and give yourself a chance to play in September,” said the former captain.