Whilst he may have been able to play for a few more years in the game of rugby league, for some players, they know when the time is right to retire – and for Canterbury Bulldogs forward Corey Payne, the right time was now, as he announced his retirement from the game, effective immediately.
Payne, who is a local junior from the Chester Hill area, made the decision to retire as he has numerous commercial opportunities off the field, thus choosing to focus on those.
The 28-year old played in a total of 131 NRL games (47 for the Dragons, 41 for the Tigers and 43 for the Bulldogs), with his debut coming back in 2005 for the Dragons.
Whilst still physically able to continue his rugby league career, Payne has other goals in life, and his retirement allows him to achieve those goals that he has set.
â€œGrowing up as a Bulldogs supporter and a local junior, I always dreamt of playing first grade for the Club,â€ Payne said.
â€œTo say that I have been a member of two Jersey Flegg premiership sides, a winning NSW Cup side and to play in an NRL Grand Final all for the Bulldogs, is quite unbelievable.
â€œThe Bulldogs Club has always been a big part of my life and I would like to thank them as well as the Wests Tigers and St George Illawarra Dragons for all the opportunities they have provided me, and acknowledge all the players, coaches and staff members that I have been associated with over the past 14-15 years.”
â€œ2013 will be a year where I finish my Master of Commerce at the University of Sydney, complete a Churchill Fellowship, maintain the positive momentum of the Future Direction Network which assists disadvantaged students reach their academic potential at university and carry out the responsibility of being NSW Young Australian of the Year. ”
â€œI intend studying for an MBA abroad in 2014 and transition to a business career, which I hope is as challenging and rewarding as my rugby league career has been.”
â€œI would also like to make special note of the support, encouragement and sacrifices my mother and father have made in helping me achieve so much through the sport of rugby league.â€
With the decision not an easy one to make, Bulldogs CEO Todd Greenberg congratulates Payne on making the decision as well as his rugby league career.
â€œCorey has a very wise head on his shoulders and I admire him for being so open and honest throughout this process,â€ Greenberg said.
â€œHe has a number of opportunities outside of the game which he has worked hard at developing, so we wish him well with that.
â€œHe has worked tirelessly on setting up his Future Direction Network and the work he has done with the local community is something that not only he can be proud of, but also something that we at the Club are very proud of.
â€œCorey will not be lost to the Club and we look forward to seeing him back here in the future, whether it be through presentations to the playing group or just simply for a visit.â€