CARLTON forward Matthew Wright has today announced his retirement from AFL football, effective immediately. 

The 28-year-old made the decision to call time on his 159-game career this week, after accepting a development coaching role at his former club, the Adelaide Crows. 

The clever small forward was initially taken by Adelaide via the 2010 rookie draft and was quickly elevated to its senior list. Wright went on to play 94 games for the Crows, before resurrecting his AFL career at Carlton. 

He then arrived at Ikon Park as a delisted free agent at the end of 2015, and quickly made an impact in the forward line becoming the Blues’ leading goalkicker in his first season in 2016. 

In his three years at the Blues, the widely respected forward played 65 games and booted 73 goals (136 career total), working closely with the likes of Charlie Curnow, Harry McKay and Tom De Koning to hone his coaching skillset and develop the Blues’ exciting young forward line. 

Wright said it was a bittersweet decision to call time on his AFL career.

“Clearly I’ve loved my time at Carlton and the passion is still there to play senior footy, but ultimately my desire to pursue my coaching ambitions became too strong and I believe the time is now right to follow that,” Wright said. 

“My wife and I are expecting our first child next year and when the opportunity presented to return back to our home state, there was a lot to weigh up but we feel it is the right decision.

“I will always be incredibly grateful to Carlton for the opportunity to have continued my AFL career when it looked like it was over – it’s been so enjoyable working with a young and talented group. The Club is clearly on the right path under ‘Bolts’ and I wish the group nothing but the best for 2019 and beyond.” 

Matthew Wright proved a popular teammate and great clubman in his time at the Blues. (Photo: AFL Media)

Head of Football Brad Lloyd praised Wright’s significant contribution to the Blues’ football program over the past three years. 

“Matt was a natural and smart footballer, and set very high standards amongst the group in his professionalism and habits – and importantly has been a terrific, quality person who served as a role model for our younger players,” Lloyd said.

“He continually invests in others and has fostered a very strong foundation for his coaching pathway guiding the likes this year of Charlie Curnow, Harry McKay and Tom De Koning in our forward line. 

“We wish Matt and wife Anna the very best for their future endeavours as they return to their home state of South Australia.” 

Wright’s retirement takes the Blues’ current list changes to six at the conclusion of the 2018 season, with the fellow retirement of Alex Silvagni and delistings of Aaron Mullett, Matt Shaw, Cameron O’Shea and Jesse Glass-McCasker.