Canberra Demons champion and NEAFL games recorder holder Aaron Bruce has announced his retirement.
A foundation player with Eastlake in the inaugural 2011 NEAFL season and also with Canberra since 2016, Bruce's legacy has made him one of the most well-respected players in the competition.
Speaking to canberrademons.com.au, the Demons captain said it was a tough decision.
“The decision I have made to head back to play senior football at a local ACT level is not one that came easy to me having spent so many years playing in the NEAFL," Bruce said.
"With the continued time commitments required to be able to prepare and perform at the NEAFL level, and when combined with my increasing family and work commitments the decision I have made, whilst emotionally very difficult, was fairly straight forward in the end.
“I come away from my time in the NEAFL with an immense amount of pride at the development of myself as a person and as a footballer and also in my leadership.
"The challenges of pushing myself to play at the highest possible level that I can for so long is something I will always be immensely proud of, and achievements such as the current games record, and my time as Captain of the club are an amazing part of my journey that I look back on fondly."
A two-time NEAFL Team of the Year member, Bruce is also a five-time club leading goalkicker with Eastlake and Canberra and has led the Demons as skipper since 2017.
He played 157 NEAFL games and booted 200 goals.
Canberra's General Manager of Football Shaun Young, paid tribute to Aaron's contribution to both Canberra and NEAFL football.
“Aaron’s contribution to not only the Canberra Demons, but the NEAFL competition has been significant over the journey, and on behalf of everyone involved at the Canberra Demons we say a sincere thank you to Aaron, Ellen and Vivian for allowing the Canberra Demons to be his second home for the past four years," Young said.
“Aaron is a great example of the pathway that exists in Canberra via the Canberra Demons program, for people that have the ability and attributes that Aaron has, that want to test themselves at the highest level available in Canberra.
"Aaron now has reached a point in his life and football that sees him return home to the Eastlake Demons and in doing so will become a valuable asset for Eastlake in the AFL Canberra competition.”
Aaron Bruce Fact File
2 x NEAFL Eastern Conference Team of the Year member (2011, 2012)
2 x Eastlake Leading Goalkicker (2012, 2015)
3 x Canberra Leading Goalkicker (2016, 2017, 2018)
Canberra Captain 2017 - 2019
NEAFL games record holder
Third-highest NEAFL goalkicker of all time
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