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Retiring Rockliff A Genuine Journeyman

  • Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 03:30 pm ACST
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General News

Tom Rockliff's retirement from AFL footy, announced today, might otherwise be just another name in the end-of-year lists of players from all clubs hanging up their boots. However, Rockliff will say goodbye to the game with an achievement not done by any other player, and possibly never to be repeated - though we hope not.

Rockliff's journey of 208 games with both the Brisbane Lions and Port Adelaide has been decorated with All-Australian selection, captaincy at Brisbane and a Rising Star nomination in 2010. But he retires as the player who has played for premiership points in three countries - Australia, New Zealand and China - as well as an International Rules match in Ireland.

No other player has had a career with so many overseas games across multiple countries. Back in 2014, Rockliff played for the Brisbane Lions in a narrow win against St Kilda in Wellington, New Zealand. In 2018, Rockliff played for Port Adelaide in their match against the Gold Coast Suns at Jiangwan Stadium in Shanghai, China.

Of course, his other 200 plus games were in Australia, but Rockcliff also played as part of the 2015 Australian International Rules squad at Croke Park, Dublin against Ireland. Whilst not for premiership points, it is an officially sanctioned AFL representative match.

In an era where the growth of Australian Football overseas is under threat from COVID-19, Rockliff's legacy is profound. He, more than any other past or present player, has taken the game across three continents and four countries.

A genuine journeyman in the truest sense of the word, Rockliff has done more than his fair share to develop the game overseas.

That is on top of having been a terrific player for two clubs from 2009 to 2021.

Well done, Tom Rockliff.