“I THOUGHT I was getting booed!”
Few have warmed themselves to the Carlton faithful as quickly as Matthew Kreuzer.
In many ways, it’s a cruel twist that his last game was in front of an empty MCG — particularly considering how his career started.
It was 13 years ago when Kreuzer arrived, and 12 years ago when the familiar sound of “KREUUUUUUUZ!” was first heard at the MCG.
There are a lot of things which the man so often referred to as Carlton’s barometer will miss about his career in football.
The passion of the Bluebagger army is right at the very top of that list.
“It’s one thing I’m going to miss: the noise that you guys make then obviously I’m doing something good,” Kreuzer said.
“I just want to say thanks to all of the supporters. You always had my back.
“It felt pretty special when I could hear that. It’s a special thing that I’ll always remember when I look back on my career.”
Kreuzer didn’t quite get the opportunity to unveil the news to an unbeknownst playing group, with rumours swirling on social media hours before the announcement.
For the quietly spoken big man, it wasn’t the worst thing in the world: as he put it, all of the hard work had been done for him.
“It had been leaked a little bit which was probably good: the boys knew and I didn’t have to do too much of the talking,” he said.
“We’ve played a lot of footy together and there are still a few other boys that have gone before my time that I loved playing with.
“[The Carlton Football Club] means a lot. I’ve been here since I was 18 and the Club has become my second home.”
In the hours since retirement, Kreuzer has unsurprisingly been surprised as the ultimate club man: by teammates, coaches, supporters and opposition players alike.
However, having given 189 games to the Navy Blue jumper, Kreuzer said it was he who wanted to thank the Club for everything they had given him in living out a lifelong dream.
“I can’t thank the footy club enough for sticking by me,” he said.
“There have been some up and down moments the whole way but I’ve loved every minute of it. It’s something I’m going to miss.”
Unfortunately for Carlton fans, Kreuzer will no longer be motoring across a packed MCG and the deafening roar accompany his every move.
Rather, ‘The Tractor’ will swap the home of football for the backyard — and no-one can begrudge that after Kreuzer’s journey.
“I’m looking forward to chasing Elle around the backyard now,” he said.
“[Wife] Coby has been there the whole way. They see behind closed doors the injuries and the things that I try and hide a bit.
“They’ve been awesome the whole way: they’ve always had my back and given the support that I need. It got me through 13 years of it.”