AFL list changes: Richmond’s David Astbury, Essendon’s Cale Hooker retire, Blue Levi Casboult dumped at Carlton

Headshot of Catherine Healey
Catherine HealeyThe West Australian
Email Catherine Healey
Levi Casboult is searching for a new home while Cale Hooker and David Astbury have retired.
Camera IconLevi Casboult is searching for a new home while Cale Hooker and David Astbury have retired. Credit: AFL Photos

A young triple premiership star and a Bombers veteran have today announced their retirements while a Blues forward will have to find a new home to continue his AFL career after being told his services are no longer required.

TOUGH TIGER RETIRES

David Astbury will end his AFL career this weekend, aged just 30.

Astbury will play for the Tigers one final time on Saturday when they face Hawthorn, who will attempt to send off master coach Alastair Clarkson on a high, at the MCG.

Injuries plagued the early part of Astbury’s career, restricting him to just 24 games from 2011 to 2015, before he became an integral part of Richmond’s rise up the ladder.

His premature retirement after 155 games will leave a huge hole in the Tigers’ back-six as they seek to respond from a disappointing 2021 season.

“It really is a dream to be completely content with what my career consists of and be really proud of that,” Astbury said.

“I know this decision is right for me and for the club going forward. I am so proud that I have fulfilled my career and my dream at one club, this club.”

David Astbury (right) celebrates his third premiership with teammates Nathan Broad and Liam Baker.
Camera IconDavid Astbury (right) celebrates his third premiership with teammates Nathan Broad and Liam Baker. Credit: Bradley Kanaris/AFL Photos/via AFL Photos

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick labelled Astbury an “all-time great” of the Tigers and an “incredible human”.

“The legacy that this man will leave is up there with the very best players at our footy club,” Hardwick said.

“The legacy he leaves is one of selflessness and resilience.

“The man missed two years and has had 14 operations.

“Most people would have just given up. But not Dave Astbury.”

HOOKER HANGS IT UP

Essendon’s Cale Hooker will finish his career at the end of 2021, announcing his retirement after 219 games.

An All-Australian after being taken as pick 54 in the 2007 Draft, Hooker said he retires knowing he left “no stone unturned”.

“I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity the club has given me and I will leave the game at the end of the season knowing I left no stone unturned to give the club, my teammates and the fans everything I had,” he said.

“To have been part of something bigger than myself, something that is so important to so many people, has been such a privilege and an honour. Representing this jumper is something I will never take for granted.

Cale Hooker celebrates a goal for the Bombers.
Camera IconCale Hooker celebrates a goal for the Bombers. Credit: Albert Perez/AFL Photos/via AFL Photos

“I love this football club and I just want to thank all my teammates, coaches, staff, volunteers and all the members and supporters who have been with me throughout this journey.”

Bombers coach Ben Rutten was full of praise for his departing big man.

“Cale has given everything he can to the club since arriving at the end of 2007, and now it is our turn to say thank you,” he said.

“He should be very proud of what he has accomplished in the red and black.”

BLUE GIVEN THE BOOT

Versatile tall Levi Casboult will become the latest Carlton veteran to exit the club after not being offered a new AFL contract with the Blues.

The 31-year-old Casboult will leave Princes Park after 153 games for Carlton since his debut in 2012.

Former Blues captain Marc Murphy and legendary small forward Eddie Betts both announced their retirements during the past week.

“The opportunity to call Carlton home and live out my boyhood dream over the past 12 years has been incredible,” Casboult said.

Levi Casboult has played 153 games for the Blues.
Camera IconLevi Casboult has played 153 games for the Blues. Credit: Darrian Traynor/via AFL Photos

“To be departing the club with life membership... is something I am incredibly proud of and am honoured to have been able to achieve.”

Blues coach David Teague commended Casboult for playing roles up forward and down back, becoming a respected teammate.

“He has experienced his fair share of ups and downs but his perseverance and determination to get the best out of himself and be an important player for Carlton has seen him become a revered member of the playing group,” Teague said.

WA YOUNGSTER COMMITS TO BOMBERS

Claremont junior Matt Guelfi has put pen to paper on a new deal at Essendon, tying him to the club until at least the end of 2022.

Matt Guelfi runs with the ball at Marvel Stadium.
Camera IconMatt Guelfi runs with the ball at Marvel Stadium. Credit: Darrian Traynor/via AFL Photos

The utility has signed a one-year contract extension after the Bombers snapped him up with pick 76 back in 2017.

“I’m excited to sign a new deal with the club,” Guelfi said.

“This season has been an exciting one to be a part of, and I’ve loved seeing how much we’ve been able to grow as a playing group in such a short time under ‘Truck’ (senior coach Ben Rutten).

“I’m really pleased I’m able to remain at the club and continue my development as a player as I’m desperate to be part of the future success of this club.

“I can’t wait to see what the rest of this season and next year holds.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails