After 217 games and 229 goals, Steven Motlop has announced his retirement from professional football, effective immediately.
The Larrakia man made the call on Tuesday, marking an end to his 14-year tenure playing at the highest level.
“14 years is a long time in the game, especially in the position I play,” he said of his decision,” Motlop said.
“It was always a childhood dream to play in the AFL and I’ll always be grateful to Geelong and to Port Adelaide for giving me the opportunity to achieve that dream.”
Motlop made the move to South Australia from the Cats ahead of the 2018 season.
The brother of Daniel Motlop, who spent seven years with the Power, and cousin to Marlon Motlop, the 31-year-old’s decision marks the end of a proud era for his family at Alberton Oval.
His family ties with the club were “a big part of why I moved across”.
“It means a lot to say I had the chance to play at the club where I have such strong family links,” Motlop said.
Despite sustained periods at successful clubs he never tasted the ultimate success, falling a game short of grand final appearances on a handful of occasions between his time at both clubs.
“As a kid you just want to play in finals,” he said.
“I played in five preliminary finals and while it would have been nice to have won one, playing in those big games alongside my teammates is something I’ll always look back on fondly.”
Selected with the 39th pick in the 2008 national draft to Geelong, Motlop went on the average more than one goal a game across his career, twice gained 22-under-22 honours and finished runner up in Geelong’s best-and-fairest in 2015.
Arguably his defining moment, his last minute heroics kicking the match-winning goal against cross-town rivals Adelaide in 2018’s Showdown 44 burnt his legacy into the hearts of Port Adelaide fans for generations to come.
Coach Ken Hinkley thanked Motlop for his efforts and passion.
“He has left us with some extremely fond memories with some telling contributions in key moments but often with Steven his work might have gone unnoticed by many,” Hinkley said.
“What I can say is that he has always been a really good teammate and has always done good things for us at Port Adelaide.”
Motlop played 14 games of a possible 20 in his final season.