A CHRONIC hip injury has forced Strathfieldsaye star Sam Mildren into retirement.
After helping Strathfieldsaye to a second-straight BFNL premiership, the 27-year-old confirmed on Monday he was hanging up his boots.
“It was beoming too hard to get up and play each week,’’ Mildren said.
“When I’m not playing footy my hip is okay, but when I’m playing it makes life hard.
“It was a hard decision to make...telling the boys was tough.
“I’m lucky that I’ve been able to achieve a bit in a short time.”
Mildren leaves the game as one of the BFNL’s best forwards in modern times.
Despite being hampered by injury in his five years with the Storm in the BFNL, Mildren kicked 242 goals in 63 games.
His performance in the Storm’s 2014 grand final triumph was arguably one of the great individual performances in the club’s short history.
Mildren tormented the Sandhurst defence, kicking seven goals and taking 13 marks in a best on ground performance.
After starting his career with Newbridge in the Loddon Valley Football Netball League, Mildren chose to play at Strathfieldsaye ahead of a number of other BFNL clubs.
“That decision was the best decision I made in my career,’’ Mildren said.
“At the time I didn’t know a lot about the club or Darryl (Wilson), but he struck me as someone who knew how to recruit.
“I’m glad I decided on Strathfieldsaye because I’ve had a great time.”
Mildren said he would continue to support the Storm, but ruled out any coaching roles.
“I have no interest in coaching,’’ he said.
“I’ll still hang around the club, but that will be about it. I won’t have any involvement in footy.”
Mildren said Golden Square’s Dale Young and Gisborne’s Tim Walsh were his toughest opponents in the BFNL, while he rated midfielder Kallen Geary, key defender Ash Trollop and Stephen Milne as the best players he played with at the Storm.
“Ash Trollop is a gun,’’ Mildren said.
“I wouldn’t like to play on him.”