Andrew Raines has been at Metricon Stadium for less than 12 months, but the impact he has had on the club has been profound, particularly in such a short space of time. But now, after twelve seasons and three different clubs, the 29-year-old has decided to retire from the game and turn his mind to other things.
Renowned for his professionalism and attention to detail, Raines has lived up to his reputation during his time at the Gold Coast SUNS and at a time where the Queensland club desperately need elder statesmen to set the standard and demonstrate how an application to your craft can help get the most out of your god given talent.
After being thrown a lifeline to continue his AFL career at the end of last season, Raines overcame a posterior cruciate ligament injury early in 2015 to piece together an ultra-consistent year at Metricon Stadium. A year that looked unlikely at different stages of 2014.
His final season in league football has been spent predominantly in the NEAFL, but in six senior appearances he has reminded the football world how well he can execute the role of a tagger. Just ask Brownlow medal fancy Patrick Dangerfield.
When Raines finished at Brisbane 12 months ago, he still had a sound mind but a weary body. He wasn’t ready to walk away from a game that had been his life. But now, he has closure and an ability to leave the game with his body still in tact, somewhat.
“I feel the time’s right to step away and exert my energy into other things. I was at a similar point last year in my career when I left Brisbane but it just didn’t feel right and that’s why I wanted to give it another crack this year,” Raines told his teammates at Metricon Stadium.
“I’ve got a degenerative knee its taken its toll over my career. It’s been through its battles and its journey with constant operations and things I’ve had on it. Time’s come and enough is enough.
“I guess I don’t want to limp out of the game, I want to do other activities in life that present itself and I obviously I want to walk out of the game still feeling okay.”
Raines walks away from football with 129 games next to his name and a reputation as one of the most professional players to ever grace the game. There is little doubt that given the injuries he has suffered, without his attention to detail and diligence, he would have been out of the game many years ago.
Career: 129 games, 17 goals
Richmond (2004-2009): 56 games, 1 goal
Brisbane Lions (2010-2014): 67 games, 14 goals
Gold Coast SUNS (2015): 6 games, 2 goals