St Kilda midfielder Koby Stevens has today announced his retirement from AFL football, effective immediately.
The 27-year-old, who has not played since round two this year due to ongoing concussion symptoms, informed his teammates of his decision today.
“This decision has taken me a long time to come to,” Stevens said.
“Football has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I do recognise how lucky I have been to play professionally for the past nine years.
“However, after lengthy consultations with my family and on the advice of doctors, I’ve made the extremely hard decision that I cannot risk my health and future for the game.
“I’m so grateful for the support of the entire St Kilda Football Club, particularly the medical and player development staff who have been extremely supportive of me over the past few months.
“To my teammates and coaches, both here at the Saints and at my previous clubs, thank you for allowing me to live my dream. I can’t thank you enough for all that you’ve done.
“Lastly, to my friends and family I couldn’t have done this without you.”
Coach Alan Richardson said the club would continue to support Stevens.
“Koby quickly earned the respect of his teammates after crossing from the Bulldogs and became a much loved member of our group,” he said.
“He is a high quality person who is enormously respected by everyone at the Saints.”
“When we were at our best last season he was a huge a driver of our midfield group, with his attack on the ball and the opposition.
“Ultimately Koby has had to make a decision for his future and we support him 100 per cent and wish him all the best for the future.
“He’ll always be part of the Saints family.”
Stevens was drafted to the West Coast Eagles with pick 23 in the 2009 AFL Draft.
After playing 11 games for the Eagles, he was traded to the Western Bulldogs where he played 62 games between 2012 and 2016.
At the end of the 2016 season he was recruited by St Kilda and went on to play 17 games in the red, white and black.