Much-loved Crow Jason Porplyzia has announced his retirement from AFL football.
Porplyzia played 130 games in 10 seasons with the Crows.
The skilful forward kicked 180 goals to be ranked 10th in Adelaide’s all-time leading goalkicking. He topped the Club’s goalkicking in 2009 with 57 goals.
The 29-year-old feels the time is right to move into the next phase of his life.
"This was a tough decision, leaving a Club full of so many great people,” Porplyzia said.
“However, I am also looking forward to the next chapter of my life and exploring my passion for the physical performance field.
“I want to thank all my teammates and coaches that I have had the privilege of playing and working with throughout my career. A special thanks to Neil Craig, who gave me my first opportunity to realise my childhood dream and play AFL.
“I also want to acknowledge my partner Becky, my family and friends for their ongoing support."
Strong overhead and a dead-eye in front of goal, Porplyzia will be fondly remembered by Crows fans for almost single-handedly carrying the Club into the 2008 finals series despite a recurring dislocated shoulder. He kicked five goals in a season-defining win over Sydney in Round 17, but the serious injury prevented him from taking part in Adelaide’s ‘08’ finals campaign.
He endured the first of two shoulder reconstructions and responded with a career-best 2009, playing every game for the first and only time of his career. As well as leading Adelaide’s goalkicking, he won the Coach’s Award, finished second in the Club Champion and was nominated for the All Australian squad.
A pelvis injury marred his 2010 pre-season, but he still managed to play 19 matches. He had an uninterrupted run the following summer and started the 2011 season in ominous fashion, kicking a goal in the opening few minutes of Adelaide’s season-opener against Hawthorn. However, disaster only struck moments later when his troublesome shoulder popped out of its socket.
After another reconstruction, Porplyzia played 22 games in 2012, including an influential performance in Adelaide’s narrow Preliminary Final loss to Hawthorn. He finally reached the 100-game milestone in Round 14, 2012, putting in a best-on-ground performance against Richmond in the wet at AAMI Stadium.
He was limited to 20 AFL games in his last two seasons with the Crows, including just four this season. He continued to work hard and set a positive example in Adelaide’s State League team.
Crows Head of Football David Noble described Porplyzia as a skilful player who won the hearts of teammates and fans.
“Jason was courageous, team orientated and most importantly, a quality individual who was a coach’s dream,” Noble said.
“He also possessed a strong overhead mark and was one of the most reliable shots on goal.
“Unfortunately, injuries prevented him from playing more games, particularly, early in his career.”
Porplyzia first arrived at West Lakes as an 18-year-old rookie at the end of 2002, but was delisted without playing a game. He went back to SANFL club West Adelaide to work on several areas of his game and was given another chance with the Crows, recruited by the Crows in the 2006 Pre-Season Draft. He kicked three goals on debut against the Western Bulldogs in Round Five, 2006.
Porplyzia is the second Crow to retire this year following in the footsteps of defender Ben Rutten.