Schwarz calls it a day
Melbourne veteran David Schwarz has played his last game of AFL after announcing a surprise mid-season retirement.
Schwarz said he no longer had the passion to keep playing. The 30-year-old played 173 games over almost 11 seasons for Melbourne. A player of great courage, Schwarz played 109 of those games after undergoing a third knee reconstruction.
"I've lost my drive and passion and the will to keep going," Schwarz said. "In the end the fire in the belly is no longer there and it's time to step down."
Melbourne coach Neale Daniher said the effort to play on for so long after injuries that would have ended most careers was the measure of Schwarz as a player.
"When I arrived in 1998 ... I thought if I could 20 games out of the big fella and get him going again it would be a good effort," Daniher said.
"He did a lot of that on pure heart. He's been a great leader, an inspiring team-mate ... he's been exuberant, he's crossed the line a few times, but the game is going to miss him."
Schwarz had contemplated playing on to be a part of Melbourne's 1,000th game at the MCG in a fortnight.
"But I would have been around here for another two weeks and the boys would have picked up on it ... that I didn't want to do it anymore," he said.