Gold Coast SUN and former Vice-Captain Pearce Hanley has this afternoon called time on his AFL career.

Hanley, 31, played 169 games throughout his career after making his debut as a 19-year-old in 2008.

The Irishman was originally recruited by the Brisbane Lions from County Mayo in 2007, playing 129 games with the club before joining the Gold Coast SUNS during the 2016 NAB AFL Trade Period, going on to play 40 games in his four seasons on the Coast.

Hanley told his teammates of his decision to retire from the game ?on Wednesday afternoon.

Reflecting on his AFL career, Hanley said he hadn’t taken the decision lightly but was looking forward to what the next chapter had in store.

04:18 Mins
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Pearce Hanley announces retirement to players and staff

SUNS veteran Pearce Hanley has called time on his playing career after 13 years in the AFL.

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“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,” Hanley 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.”

General Manager – Football Operations Jon Haines, thanked Hanley for the significant contribution he had made to the Gold Coast SUNS.  

“On behalf of the club, we would like to take this opportunity to thank Pearce for the impact he has made at the Gold Coast SUNS. 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,” Haines said. 

Hanley will retire effective immediately and is looking forward to taking a closer interest in his business ventures.