FIVE-time Wodonga Raiders best and fairest winner Mark Doolan has retired.
Doolan was forced into making the call on his 218-match career after struggling to overcome a series of niggling leg injuries.
I remember one against Wodonga. I reckon he had 55 touches in six inches of waterJoe Lonergan
The former captain managed only 15 matches last season and knocked back an offer from the Raiders to manage his training schedule.
“It’s disappointing but my body just isn’t up to it any more,” Doolan, 34, said.
Doolan won best and fairests at Birallee Park in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010 and represented the Ovens and Murray.
He has no intentions of playing district football this year.
Long-time Raider Joe Lonergan said Doolan deserved to be rated among the club’s greatest players.
“He’s slipped under the radar a bit and that’s how he likes it,” Lonergan said.
“He used to enjoy himself in his younger days with blokes like Nathan Moffatt but he’s always put his footy first.
“I’ve seen him play some unbelievable games.
“I remember one against Wodonga on Anzac Day.
“I reckon he had 55 touches in six inches of water.”
Former Wodonga Raiders coach Brendan Way said he couldn’t remember Doolan playing a poor game.
“He’s a great competitor and he’s arguably put together the best 200 games of any Raider,” Way said.
“Paul Knight played 150 good games but Mark has put together the best 200.
“He came in as a young kid and got a game in the seconds and I remember Nic Conway saying: ‘just sit down and watch this kid play’.
“He’s hardly played a bad game.”
Doolan debuted for the Raiders in 2002 and spent 2008 at West Perth where he broke his ankle.
He has also played 49 matches for Chiltern.