As far as honest footballers go, Chris Savage is up there with the best.
Known for his leadership and desire to compete, the 31-year-old co-captain will go down as one of Launceston’s greatest warriors.
Savage announced his retirement on Saturday night following his side’s State League first semi-final loss to Lauderdale with his body and work commitments no longer making it easy going.
“I’ve been trying to kickoff a new business and the body takes a few extra days to get over games as well,” the defender, who has pulled on the Blues jumper more than 100 times, said.
“Sundays are a bit tough when you get stuck on the couch, Mondays you feel like you’re 100 years old walking around with some Tuesdays a bit tough too.”
Savage joined the Windsor Park club as a 15-year-old, had some years away and returned to be part of Launceston’s 2011 State League flag.
He has played more than 100 games for NTFA division 1 club Bridgenorth and rejoined the Blues when Sam Lonergan was appointed head coach in 2016 following a few seasons off.
“I left after we won the flag because of work and I lived down the coast and had a few years of not playing, but Sam called and I decided to give it another crack,” Savage said.
“In 2011 I was in the leadership group as a pretty young bloke, so to come back and be given the chance to captain is something pretty cool.
“Not too many people get to do it and at a club like Launceston which is the oldest in Tassie… is a pretty big honour.”
Savage said he believes Launceston is destined for success with the depth of talent in the ranks.
The Blues finished eighth in 2016 with four wins and 14 losses, made a preliminary final last year and finished the home and away season in third this season.
“Not just on the ground, but off the ground the club is very strong which makes it a lot easier for players and coaching staff,” he said.
“There are a huge number of volunteers at the club, which a lot of other TSL clubs don’t have… but to see the group of guys we have now with under 50 games experience, there is some great talent amongst them.
“And if you can keep a lot of them together if could really be fruitful once they get between that 50 to 100 games barrier.
“There are a lot of guys in the development league that could be running round in seniors at other clubs.”
Savage said his playing days are done, however, he would like to play some role at the Blues into the future.
“Chris and I went to kindergarten together so there is an emotional attachment for me personally invested in him and it is always hard to lose someone like the calibre of a person he is,” Lonergan said.
“We are grateful to have had him over the past few years because the way he leads and communicates out on the field is first-class.
“He will be sorely missed but won’t be lost to our footy club.”
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