The Ovens and Murray has lost one of its best players of the past decade with four-time Albury premiership star Dean Polo retiring.
Unless the league can, somehow, squeeze out a finals series as COVID maintains its hold over both Victoria and NSW, the 35-year-old has played his last game.
"I had a COVID year last year and I thought I'd play one more year," he revealed.
"If COVID keeps going the way it's going, it might be my last year for the next five years (laughs)."
Prior to his O and M stint, Polo played 56 games for Richmond in six seasons from 2005, winning best on ground on debut against Essendon in the "Dreamtime at the 'G" match, clocking up 28 possessions and three goals in a stirring win.
He then added 21 games at St Kilda in two years.
"Obviously it didn't pan out the way I wanted it to, I was on the outer with a couple of coaches, it didn't go in my favour," he explained.
"Generally, I enjoyed the life, just a lot of the stress that goes with it, when you're injured and not playing."
The defender had a shoulder and a finger reconstruction, before joining Albury for 2013.
He was part of the Tigers' three-peat from 2014 and then showed his class and coolness to win the Did Simpson Medal in a pulsating finish to the 2018 grand final against Wangaratta.
He also won a best and fairest, an enormous effort in a club which played 10 straight grand finals from 2009.
"I'm probably the happiest I've been since I moved to Albury," he admitted.
I'm probably the happiest I've been since I moved to Albury ... I've never felt more at home in any place.- Dean Polo
"Being part of the football club and the success that we've had, I've never felt more at home in any place.
"Albury is probably the prettiest place I've ever lived and obviously being part of the Tigers family and having that country lifestyle as well.
"I've got to prioritise some time for the kids now, it's their turn."
ALSO IN SPORT
Albury co-coach Luke Daly speaks to The Border Mail about Polo in Saturday's edition.
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