Not leaving on your own terms as a player can sometimes be a disappointment but in today’s age of rugby league, it is often unavoidable. For Newcastle Knights forward Kade Snowden, who has not been seen since Rd 1, he has been forced to medically retire from the game due to a neck injury.
Playing in 174 NRL games for the club and representing both NSW and Australia throughout his career, Snowden said that it was tough not being able to contribute for the club in 2016.
â€œIt has been a tough year not being able to contribute to the team but my body just couldnâ€™t do it anymore,â€ Snowden said.
â€œA number of injuries, but primarily my neck, have forced an early retirement from the game that has been my whole life.â€
A local junior, Snowden made his debut for the Knights before moving to the Sharks for several seasons. Upon returning to the Knights, he believed the experience away made him a better player.
â€œTo make my NRL debut for the Knights, it was something I had dreamed of since I was a kid,â€ Snowden said.
â€œIt really meant everything to me and while I wish I could have been a one-club player, it didnâ€™t pan out that way.
â€œI know I was a better person and player for moving away and coming back to the Knights.â€
To return to the Knights and to finish up as a Knights player, is something Snowden cherishes.
â€œI was so happy I was able to play my last couple of years at the Knights,â€ Snowden added.
â€œTo have my family and friends support me every week and to represent Newcastle meant the world, even though it has been cut short.â€
He was quick to thank the two clubs he played for, the fans, his team-mates and the staff, for the work they did.
â€œThanks to my family, friends and everyone that has given me their time to make me the player I became,â€ Snowden said.
â€œThank you to the two clubs, and especially Ricky Stuart, who turned me into the man and player that other players wanted to play with.
â€œFinally, to the fans of Newcastle, thanks for your support and I am sorry I couldnâ€™t finish the year off for you.â€