In an ideal world, a player will be able to dictate and choose when they retire from the game but unfortunately, David Shillington has not had that opportunity.
Today, he has been forced to retire from the NRL due to a number of chronic injuries. The 33-year old played in 215 NRL games.
The Brothers junior represented the Sydney Roosters, the Canberra Raiders and the Gold Coast Titans as well as playing in 14 games for Australia, 4 games for the Prime Minister’s XIII and 8 games for Queensland.
With a ninth bout of surgery in 12 years, Shillington knew that the time had come to close the curtain on an illustrious career.
“It’s not necessarily the way that you’d like to retire from the game but injuries are a part of it and it’s just all a bit much for me to continue putting my body through it,” Shillington said.
“I’ve had a great time in the game and it’s given me so much. The people I’ve met along the way and the fun I’ve had, has given me plenty of great memories.”
He was quick to thank the three clubs that he was involved in over his career as he looks forward to working with the NRL Ambassador Program.
“I’d like to thank the three clubs I played for over the years for allowing me to play the game that I love for a living and helping me achieve many of my goals,” said Shillington.
“I won’t be lost to the game though, I’m looking forward to my next chapter where I’ll do some work as part of the NRL Ambassador program.”
His contribution to the game and to the Titans organisation was praised by coach Neil Henry.
“David has been a quality rugby league player throughout his career but more importantly, he’s been a good role model,” Henry said.
“Even throughout a tough season in 2016, he continued to help the younger players in and around training with their development.
“He will be a great ambassador for the game moving forward.”
Those sentiments were echoed by club CEO, Graham Annesley.
“There are many quality people in our game and David Shillington is one of the best,” Annesley said.
“I’m so glad he won’t be lost to the game and I know he will make a very smooth transition into life after football and forge an equally successful non-playing career.
“I know everyone in Rugby League will join with me in wishing Dave, Sonia and their young family nothing but the best for the future,” Annesley concluded.