Players know themselves better than anyone else and St George Illawarra Dragons hooker Andrew McCullough has opted to retire with a year left on his contract.
The Dragons did not stand in McCullough’s way as the veteran hooker wants to begin his post-footy transition and that starts with a move back to Queensland.
McCullough retires with 309 NRL games, 41 of which came with the Dragons, and the veteran says it the opportunities that arose that made the decision for him.
“I’ve decided to finish up this year; it’s worked out well for transitioning for the next couple of years,” McCullough said.
“I’ve probably been battling a couple of niggling injuries over the last couple of years that people don’t probably understand or realise. That’s football.
“[The decision] was more so transitioning, the opportunities that came for me the next couple of years.”
McCullough is at ease with his decision and he just wanted to get it all sorted.
“I thought I’d jump at the opportunity now while those further opportunities are still there and go from there,” McCullough continued.
“It feels right. I’m happy, I’m content, I just want to get on with it now.
Dragons coach Anthony Griffin, who also coached McCullough in Brisbane, described him as the ultimate professional.
“He was an extremely tough competitor right up until his last game,” Griffin said.
“He was the youngest forward to play 200 games.
“He came back from a medial injury a couple of weeks early to play against the Broncos.
“The biggest thing is he’s just a great teammate. Every player that played with him would have enjoyed playing with him and respected him. I think that’s the most important thing.”