Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong premiership coach Mitch Carroll has played his last game for the Lions.
Carroll has hung up his boots and informed the Lions of his retirement after a decorated playing and coaching career.
Carroll injured his calf again against Wagga Tigers last Saturday week and will miss Saturday’s final round clash against arch-rivals Coolamon.
The 32-year-old said the decision to retire was a straight forward one.
“I made my mind up a month or so ago,” Carroll said.
“I’ve had niggling injuries all year and I’m still struggling to walk now. I was hoping to finish the year out this week but the way it’s going, I’ve played my last game.
“If I could still get around every week, I’d still do it don’t worry, but the body’s had enough.”
Carroll returned home to GGGM this year after four seasons with Farrer League club Coleambally.
A hard midfielder, Carroll will be best remembered at GGGM as the 2011 premiership coach, where the Lions went through the season undefeated.
“All the premierships have been good, but being in charge for that one was the best thing,” he said.
Carroll played in four premierships at GGGM. He was best-on-ground in the 2010 win, and coached the 2011 flag.
He also spent one season at Lavington and three at Albury Tigers in the Ovens and Murray League. Carroll also spent four seasons at Coleambally, two as coach, where he helped the club rise up the ladder.
Carroll rates Christen McPherson, Daniel Rankin and Nathan McPherson as the best footballers he played with. He rated Griffith’s Mick Duncan and Coolamon’s Matt Hard as his toughest opponents.
Carroll said it was a privilege to play for the Lions.
“I loved having the opportunity to play for my junior club,” Carroll said.
“They gave me the opportunity to coach there and I couldn’t thank them enough for that.
“They’re a great club.”
Carroll is glad he came back for one last season at GGGM.
“Yeah it was good, especially with the younger guys in the group,” he said.
“We haven’t been setting the world on fire but we’ve definitely improved from the first round to the second.
“I was hoping to have a couple of years back at Ganmain but it’s hard now with a young family and wanting to spend a bit more time with them.”
Carroll is now looking forward to spending more time with wife Jess and kids Marty and Mackinlay.