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AFL | Pearce Hanley announces retirement

Pearce Hanley has announced his retirement from the Australian Football League at the age of 31.

The Irish defender, who made 169 career appearances in the AFL, retires after making eight appearances with the Gold Coast Suns this season.

Hanley retires with immediate effect having informed his Suns teammates of his decision on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old moved to Australia from Mayo in 2007, before making his AFL debut with the Brisbane Lions the following year.

After 129 appearances with the Lions, he moved to the Suns ahead of the 2017 season, where he made another 40 appearances.

Hanley hangs up his boots having scored 60 goals and assisted a further 64 in 169 matches across his lengthy career.

"I feel good, it's obviously been on my mind for a while and I made the decision a few days ago and haven’t had any regrets since, it’s obviously a big decision but I’m ready for it," he said.

"I think great clubs are built off great people and the Suns have that, I’ll continue to be on this journey with them, but I’ll be watching on from the stands.

"I’m excited for the next phase in my life and looking forward to sinking my teeth into that."

Suns general manager of football operations Jon Haines paid tribute to the Mayo man.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank Pearce for the impact he has made at the Gold Coast Suns,” Haines said.

“With an emerging group, the need to have experienced players who can help drive and lead our playing group has been critical to the club’s development.

“Pearce will always be an important part of the Suns‘ family and we wish him all the best for his future endeavours.”

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