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Bransgrove to retire on Sunday

Brent Bransgrove will retire from VFL football this weekend. (Photo: AFL Victoria)
Brent Bransgrove will retire from VFL football this weekend. (Photo: AFL Victoria)

Brent Bransgrove will retire from VFL football this weekend.

Bransgrove, who plays his 100th game this Sunday against Coburg, announced to the playing group tonight that his milestone game would be his last.

The first player to play a century of games since the club’s transition to the Northern Blues, Bransgrove is one of the most-respected players in the competition and an undisputed legend of the football club.

Universally known as ‘Boxxy’, Bransgrove was made a Life Member of the club in 2014 and captained the side for four seasons (2012-2015).

Bransgrove has battled countless injuries and hardships in his decade at Preston City Oval, displaying unrivalled dedication, loyalty and spirit to the Northern Bullants and Blues.

A local boy who arrived at the club at the start of 2007 from the Northern Knights, Bransgrove twice won the club Trademark Award in 2012 and 2014 and the Senior Coach’s Award in his debut year.

Bransgrove – who has suffered countless setbacks including a serious hamstring injury last year – achieved his highest result (third place) in last year’s Laurie Hill Trophy.

“It’s my 100th this week but I guess the other announcement is that it’ll also be my last,” Bransgrove told his teammates tonight.

“It’s come at a time where my hip’s not improving, it’s taking a toll on me both on-field and off-field.

“I’ve decided to hang up the boots after this game – it’s not done and dusted, I want to stay around and be involved in a mentoring capacity.”

Senior coach Josh Fraser paid tribute to Bransgrove, saying he was everything the club embodies and the type of individual every player should try to emulate.

“I don’t think I’ve seen comments as consistent about ‘Boxy’ in regards to the way he plays his footy and the respect and regard he’s held,” Fraser said.

“Ultimate respect – that’s the only way to put it when it comes to the way he plays his footy and conducts himself.”

Bransgrove’s 100th and final game will be this Sunday in the Battle of Bell against local rivals Coburg at Preston City Oval.