Collingwood star makes surprising call on his AFL future

A Collingwood forward has made a big call on his AFL future, despite having made 20 appearances for the club in 2021.

After making over 120 appearances in eight years for Collingwood, Josh Thomas has announced his retirement.

The 30-year-old was selected by the Pies with the 75th pick in the 2009 national draft, but did not make his debut for the club until the opening round of the 2013 AFL season, due to a number of career-threatening foot injuries early into his tenure with the club.

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A career in finance beckons for Thomas, who informed Collingwood GM of football Graham Wright of his decision this morning.

“The last two months has given me time to reflect and, after careful consideration, I believe the right decision has emerged,” Thomas said.

“I feel incredibly fortunate to reach the end of my career and be genuinely content with my time in the game.

“To have pulled on the black and white stripes over 100 times has been a tremendous privilege and something that I will hold dearly for the rest of my life.

“I will especially cherish the lifelong friendships that I have made over the last 12 years.

“I would like to thank the club for giving me the chance to live out my childhood dream.

“I also want to thank the Collingwood army – you are why playing for this great club is so special.

“I will always be proud to have worn the Collingwood jumper and leave with nothing but gratitude and fond memories.”

Thomas made a big impact in his debut season, kicking 11 goals in 19 games.

However, he was forced to sit out the 2015 and 2016 seasons after he tested positive for clenbuterol — a substance banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency — and was delisted by the Pies.

The forward was picked up by the club again in 2017, and enjoyed a resurgence in form that culminated in a stellar 2018 season, where he booted 38 majors in 26 games, as Collingwood came within a whisker of winning the flag.

In what was his final season on an AFL oval, Thomas donned the famous black and white guernsey on 20 occasions and kicked 12 goals.

Originally published as Magpies star Josh Thomas makes surprising call on his AFL career

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