Gold Coast SUNS clubman Jack Hombsch announced his retirement to teammates over the weekend after 116 games of AFL football.
Hombsch’s 11-year career began as an inaugural member of the Greater Western Sydney Giants, playing 9 games in their debut 2012 season.
In 2013, Hombsch was traded to Port Adelaide, where he played 89 senior games, including three finals in the 2014 season, narrowly missing a Grand Final appearance.
Traded to the SUNS in 2018, Hombsch played 19 games in 2019, before being interrupted by injury throughout 2020 and 2021 seasons.
Hombsch spoke to SUNS Media this week and said he was at peace with his decision and excited about what the future may hold.
“It is something that has been in the works for a little while this season,” Hombsch said.
“Obviously, I’ve had a few injury troubles, in the past with my hips and so forth.
“I think the time was right and the club has been great this year with the support I’ve had, and I’ve been able to play a fair bit of the season in the VFL.
“I’m pretty happy that I have been able to get through that much.
“The timing was just right and I’m ready for the next stage, but I’ll certainly miss the footy club and I’ll miss playing AFL because it’s one of the best jobs going around.
“I feel pretty comfortable with it (my decision).
“I’m excited for the next stage but a little nervous as well.”
Having been an integral member of the SUNS 2021 VFL team, Hombsch acknowledged his role in helping develop younger players whilst also still enjoying his football.
“I think it was good, it allowed me to focus on something other than myself and put a bit of purpose into my year as well,” Hombsch said.
“The boys playing VFL, they are a great bunch of kids and I’m not old but I’m old in terms of that team.
“So, it has made me feel a bit younger, being around those boys all year and it has allowed me to have fun.
“Just knowing it was my last season and I enjoyed footy for what it is and soaked it up.”
Looking toward his future outside of football, Hombsch wants to continue to be involved in the game and is keen to build on his role in developing players.
“I’ll take some time to figure it out a little bit, I’m not in a huge rush but I do have a lot of interest in the PDM [Player Development Management] space within footy clubs,” Hombsch said.
“Brad Reid and Ben Mabon have been really good to me this year and the work they do is invaluable for the footy players.
“There is couple of options but I’m going to have to go into my first real job interview ever.
“It’ll be a bit of a shock and a bit of a change, so I think I’ll get my eyes opened a little bit.
Having been a part of the industry for so long, Hombsch thanked the most important people, who helped him achieve at AFL level.
“Obviously, there is so many that have had an impact but my partner Ali, she has been huge,” Hombsch.
“They probably don’t get enough recognition sometimes, she packed up her life and moved up with me from Adelaide three years ago.
“My family, my siblings; Nick, Tom and Meg and my parents, the sacrifices they made, growing up in a country town, six hours from Adelaide.
“Especially my siblings, giving up their weekends, school holidays to go to my sporting carnivals or tournaments and they never complained.
“So that was a massive sacrifice that they made to help me out.
“Also playing for three clubs, I’m so grateful because you get to meet so many good people along the way.
“The coaching staff (and) the fitness and medical staff at Port Adelaide and here at the SUNS especially, that whole team as well have been a massive help for me.”