RUSSELL Robertson drew the curtain on a football career that began at Burnie 18 years ago.
The 34-year-old said his body had taken enough punishment and it was now time to retire.
Robertson played in Burnie's losing grand final team at Aurora Stadium, where he was able to kick a goal in the second quarter and he was quick to speak to his teammates after the game.
``I want to thank you all, along with coach Brent Plant, for giving me the chance to come back to Burnie to end my career,'' he said.
``The reason I decided to play on this year was because of how much I enjoyed 2012,'' he said.
Robertson said the friendships he had made at Burnie over the past two years would remain with him forever and he said his teammates had the heart and desire of any players he had come across in his time in football.
``Some people frown on `fly-in' players but I'm just thankful for the opportunity to play with Burnie,'' he said.
Robertson was drafted to Melbourne in 1997 and went on to play 228 games and kick 428 goals during a 12-year AFL career.
He was the leading goalkicker for the Demons in 2001, 2005 and 2007.
After retiring from the Demons he played for the Shepparton Swans in the Goulburn Football League, kicking more than 100 goals in 2010 before coaching St Josephs in the Geelong Football League in 2011.
``My body can't take any more and this is the end,'' Robertson said.
Robertson is employed by the Melbourne Football Club as its code development manager.