By ZAC MILBANK
The last of Norwood’s triple premiership players from the modern era, Jace Bode, has announced he will retire from the Statewide Super League.
The Redlegs captain told the playing group on Wednesday night, as he joined fellow triple premiership player Brady Dawe in calling time on his distinguished career this year.
Starting his SANFL career with Sturt in Round 22 of 2005, Bode played a total of 39 games for the Double Blues either side of a nine-game stint with AFL club Melbourne.
In 2011, he crossed over to The Parade, where he flourished as a hard-nosed defender, featuring in Norwood’s 2012, 2013 and 2014 premierships within his 156 games wearing the red and blue.
The 32-year-old represented the West End State team in 2014 and 2015, ensuring he would fall just three games shy of qualification for the SANFL 200 Club.
”Not quite the fairytale finish we all dream of and this year has been my most challenging in a footy career that I look back really proudly at,” Bode said on an Instagram post.
”It’s been a rollercoaster ride and I’m so grateful to have followed in Dad’s footsteps in pulling on the Norwood guernsey, the team I grew up supporting. It’s been a real honour and a privilege to wear the No.15 and lead our club.
”To be part of three winning premiership teams, playing in two other SANFL Grand Finals, an AFL debut, a Queen’s Birthday game in front of 70,000 (people) and various state games have been career highlights.
”It’s the moments behind closed doors I’ll miss the most. I’m so fortunate to have met as many wonderful people as I have and I am walking away from the game with lifelong friends.
”So many thank yous, many of whom I’ll speak to individually in the coming days. Broadly, thanks to my family and friends that have had my back in the good times and the bad. To our supporters, keep being as passionate about our club as you are, there’s no better feeling than running out to a packed crowd at The Parade on a Friday night.
”I’m not quite sure what the future holds yet but I’m looking forward to the next challenge. I’m excited to be spending the summer with Nat, Maddie, Milla and Banjo and sharing a beer or two reflecting with my mates.”