ACCOMPLISHED Griffith footballer Guy Orton will play his last game for Coleambally on Saturday.
Orton, who has enjoyed a distinguished career since arriving in the Riverina 10 years ago, hates the word retirement but concedes it may be his last first grade game.
"I hate the term hanging them up, because you never really do," Orton said.
"I've told the club I won't be there next year but it doesn't mean I won't be playing. You never know what will happen, that's why I hate saying retired."
Orton, 35, has spent the past two years at Farrer League club Coleambally after a decorated career in the Riverina League at Griffith.
COVID-19 put a line through his first season at the Blues, while a knee injury interrupted this year.
"I've had an absolute ball out at Coly this year," he said.
"They're a great bunch of blokes and a great club and I wanted to have two solid years out there but COVID obviously took one away from me and then this year wasn't the best with injuries and myself injured.
"I didn't do anything for three or four weeks and (the knee) started to come good. I kept thinking this might have been my last year in seniors but by the end of the year the body started to feel pretty good."
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Work and family commitments mean Orton won't be locking himself into any serious plans next season.
He intends to start his own business, and along with two daughters at home, he can't see himself being in a position to commit to first grade football.
Orton may return to Griffith for a kick in reserve grade.
"I've spoken to a few mates and they're going to come back and play twos in town here," he said.
"I know the business, if it takes off, is going to be busy so I'm not worried about what's going to happen next year. If I get a chance and I can run around, so be it, but family and business will be priority that's why I said to the club at Coly, I can't commit to coming out to Coly.
"I haven't decided if I'm going to come back in town and do anything here but there's a chance that I may play reserves here in town with mates."
Orton won two Jim Quinn Medals when playing at Griffith and went on to coach the club, and the league, for a couple of seasons.
He played 130 games at the club and was named an emergency in Griffith's Team of the Century in 2014.
If Saturday's game against Northern Jets at Coleambally should happen to be Orton's last first grade appearance, he admits he leaves satisfied, albeit with one major regret.
"Yeah 100 per cent. Obviously the two things that I look back on are the two flags that we didn't play in, or didn't win, at Griffith," Orton said.
"The other personal accolades, they're good things to look back on but you play footy for the team and to play in flags, really. We got to play in grand finals (2018 and 2019), but we didn't get across the line which, pouring all that time into Griffith and then not getting them, it's pretty sour still. You still think about it most days. But there's a lot of good mates out of it, a lot of good friends."
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