2018 is the year of retirement in the NRL and Newcastle Knights prop Jacob Lillyman is the latest to hang up the boots.
At 34 and in his 16th NRL season, 2018 will be his sole season with the Novocastrian club.
Previously, Lillyman had lengthy stints at both the North Queensland Cowboys and New Zealand Warriors.
Looking back on his career, Lillyman says he is pleased with his achievements and has no regrets.
“I’ve had an incredible career and I have no regrets,” Lillyman said.
“I have some many fond memories from every Club I’ve had the pleasure to play for.
“I was fortunate to represent my state and make some incredible friendships along the way.”
Family support means everything to players and Lillyman is pleased to have had that his entire career.
“I can’t thank my family enough for all their support,” the veteran prop continued.
“It’s been one incredible journey.”
Admitting that 2018 has been a bit of a battle for him to stay on the field, Lillyman knew that the time was right.
“I came to the decision quite a while ago,” Lillyman continued.
“The mind and the body reach appoint where going another year isn’t an option and it’s been a bit of a battle this year.”
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to play for this great club but at the end of the year, I’m riding off into the sunset.”
Lillyman’s experience helped to nurture the Knights young talents and coach Nathan Brown praised the veteran prop.
“Not only is Ox a professional on the field, he’s a champion person off it,” Brown said.
“He’s a consistent performer, so it’s no surprise he had such a long career in the Queensland jersey.
“The influence he’s had on our younger boys has been enormous.
“He’s brought some quality habits to the Club which will pay dividends in years to come.”