St Kilda champion Nick Riewoldt has labelled Sean Dempster as ‘the ultimate team man’, lauding the recently retired defender’s elite professionalism and desire to perform.

After 14 seasons at St Kilda and Sydney, Dempster announced his retirement from AFL football last week following another head knock during the JLT Community Series.

In the aftermath of St Kilda’s first win of 2017, Riewoldt said he always felt confident running out alongside Dempster, certain the unassuming backman had left no stone unturned with his preparation and would always give 100 per cent.

“He was just the ultimate team man. He was a guy that you were just so confident running down the race with every week,” Riewoldt told following St Kilda’s 31-point win on Sunday night.

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“Firstly you knew he’d done everything he could to prepare himself to play; he was just immaculate in his preparation.

“Secondly he was just going to get the job done; effort was never going to be a concern; if he got beaten or if something went awry it was not because of his effort.

“He’s been a champion player, All-Australian and just a wonderful teammate and person.

“Clearly the way he’s lived his life and the decision I guess is a reflection of his selflessness – he put his family first.”

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