Colin Sylvia is to retire from the AFL, with the 29-year-old and the Fremantle Dockers agreeing that he depart the club immediately.

Best step for football club and Sylvia

Sylvia, who was recruited by Fremantle as an unrestricted free agent in 2013, played 163 AFL games including six games for Fremantle in 2014 and 157 games for Melbourne following his debut for the Demons in 2004.

In February this year, Fremantle sent Sylvia to train with its WAFL partner club Peel Thunder after it was determined he was not meeting the physical requirements for AFL football.

At the time, general manager of football operations Chris Bond said training and playing with Peel would provide Sylvia with the opportunity to “focus on getting himself back to the level required to play in the AFL”.

A minor calf strain forced Sylvia to withdraw from Peel’s season-opening game against West Perth in round two of the WAFL season.

He played in Peel’s following three games but left the field before half-time in the round five game against East Perth after being concussed.

Bond said today it was always a difficult decision for any player to confront the prospect of retirement.

“Colin has been working through a number of issues, including whether he was able to achieve and sustain the physical requirements needed to train and play at the elite level,”

“It is never an easy decision but, after discussions between Colin, his management and the club, it was agreed that his long-term interests would be best served by retiring from the AFL.

“The club, Colin and his management agreed that he leave Fremantle immediately.”

Sylvia said: “I would like to thank the Fremantle Football Club for the opportunity I was given to continue my AFL career after leaving Melbourne. While I have really enjoyed my time here, things haven’t gone entirely to plan in a football sense and I look forward to focusing on the next phase of my life.”