National News

Eagle Will Schofield retires from AFL

West Coast defender Will Schofield has announced he will retire at the end of the AFL season, saying the constant battle to earn selection eventually wore him down.

Schofield has played just four games this season, bringing his career tally to 194 matches since making his debut in 2007.

The 31-year-old's most famous performance came in the 2018 grand final when he beat Collingwood star Jordan de Goey in a series of one-on-one duels to help his team secure victory.

Schofield is a self-confessed fringe player and said he was proud of the fight he showed across so many years to win selection.

But it's a fight he's no longer willing to keep having on a weekly basis.

"I don't quite have the fight to keep bashing Simmo's (Adam Simpson) door down for a game," Schofield said.

"And that's how footy's been for me a little bit, It does take a toll on myself personally. Now the time is right to spend more time with the family."

Schofield recently won his way back into the team, but he could get the chop for next week's elimination final against Collingwood if Jeremy McGovern returns from a hamstring injury.

In one of the most humorous retirement press conferences in recent memory, Schofield was quick to poke fun at himself, especially his bid to cover himself in glory during the 2018 grand final.

With the Eagles trailing by two points and just three minutes left on the clock, Schofield made the decision to leave de Goey by himself in the goal square so that he could charge forward and try to kick the winning goal.

But when the Eagles lost possession in the midfield, McGovern was forced to cover for Schofield and man de Goey.

McGovern then took the mark that started the chain that led to Dom Sheed's miracle goal from the pocket.

"I felt like I needed to take it upon myself as the fullback of the team who has never left the back 50m in four years to run down the centre of the MCG and kick a goal for the team," Schofield reflected.

"That started 'The Moment'. Gov can at times be lazy, and he was lurking around and ended up standing in front of Jordan and took that great mark.

"He wheeled and kicked it to Vards (Nathan Vardy), who closed his eyes and kicked it to Flyin' Ryan, and Dom Sheed kicked the goal.

"Without me running down the middle trying to be a hero, that doesn't happen."

Schofield also joked McGovern wouldn't have won four All-Australian awards if it wasn't for his help.

© AAP 2020