Adelaide forward James Podsiadly has called time on an incredible career that personified the value of persistence and self-belief.
The 34-year-old bowed out with 104 senior games to his name – including the 2011 premiership with Geelong – and 195 goals.
It took Podsiadly until he was 28 to make his AFL debut in 2010, having been rejected by both Essendon and Collingwood before joining the Cats as a rookie at the end of 2009.
He was working as one of the club’s fitness coaches and was playing for the Cats’ VFL side at the time.
His first two years at the Cattery were phenomenal; he booted 49 goals in his opening 19 games and another 52 in 2011, culminating with a flag.
Podsiadly joined the Crows ahead of the 2014 season, in which he played 21 games – reaching his 100-game milestone towards the end of the year.
He wasn’t able to break into the senior line-up this season, although a haul of 20 goals from his final two SANFL appearances meant he finished his career in brilliant form.
“The Adelaide and Geelong supporters, I can’t tell you how much they’ve embraced me and my story,” Podsiadly said.
“I just want to thank them for their support, and all the people who made the decision to take a risk on me, whether it was at Geelong or here at Adelaide.
“To achieve what I have from a team perspective, I’m very grateful and thankful for.
“I’m proud of those achievements, but I’m more proud of the people that I’ve met who have helped me get here.”
The next stage of life for Podsiadly will focus on his family and his business life at Reactivate Group.
“We are about to launch a workplace wellbeing digital platform, which is designed to improve employee wellbeing and workplace engagement,” he said.
“This is something we’ve worked hard to develop over the past few years and I’m really excited to finally be taking it to market where it will be deployed to workplaces globally.
“It’s the amalgamation of my experiences on and off the field in the AFL, combined with my business and exercise science education which brings a unique perspective to the health and wellbeing field.
“I’m passionate about engaging employees to improve wellbeing and the initial results we’re seeing are really exciting.”
Find out more information at www.thewellbeingchallenge.com