Corowa-Rutherglen's 'Wizza' ends decorated career

COROWA-Rutherglen stalwart Matt Witherden says his decision to retire has been made easier by the club’s resurgence this season.

Witherden, who was playing reserves for the Roos before suffering another knee injury in June, said his personal disappointment was overshadowed by the fact the club would be featuring in the finals for the first time in five years.

“I would still like to be out there but the club has come a long way in the past 12 months,” Witherden, 34, said yesterday.

“The seniors have done well and could do some damage in the finals and hopefully the reserves can sneak in as well.”

Witherden had reconstructions on his right knee in 2001 and 2007, and after seeing a specialist in Melbourne recently, was told he was in danger of needing a replacement if he continued to play.

The midfielder’s knee flared again in round 8 against North Albury and he hasn’t played since.

“It’s pretty much bone on bone,” he said.

“I didn’t want to keep making it worse.

“We have two young kids so it’s probably about time I gave it away.”

Witherden made his senior debut under Jim Silvestro in 1998 and played 210 senior matches for Corowa-Rutherglen before dropping back to the reserves this season.

He was a vital member of the Roos’ premierships in 2000 and 2003 and won a best and fairest in 2006.

Witherden has stayed loyal to Corowa-Rutherglen in recent years despite being approached by many district league clubs about coaching positions.