Saints' Hannebery calls time on AFL career

After four injury-plagued seasons with St Kilda, Dan Hannebery will bow out against Sydney where he enjoyed his greatest highs in his decorated AFL career.

Hannebury announced on Thursday that Sunday's final-round clash with the Swans at Marvel Stadium will be his last after 225 games.

Off contract, the 31-year-old said while his body was finally feeling good and he would have liked to have played on, he recognised St Kilda needed to look to the future.

"The reality is I've had a number of injuries and I'm not getting any younger," Hannebery said.

"We've got some really good young kids coming through and in terms of where the club's going we need to make sure we get get as many games into them as possible as they're hopefully going to drive us forward."

Hannebery made his debut in 2009 and played eight seasons with the Swans but due to persistent soft-tissue injuries has only managed 17 games, including two this season, since switching to the Saints for the 2019 season on a big money deal.

A three-time All Australian, Hannebery was part of Sydney's 2012 premiership and played in grand finals in 2014 and 2016.

He helped St Kilda return to the finals in 2020, which he said was a special memory of his career.

While he and the Saints have been mostly starved of success and his game time severely limited, he said he hoped he would be remembered for his off-field contribution to the club.

He said he had carried the "disappointment" from St Kilda fans that he hadn't been able to make an impact on the field.

"I've been extremely disappointed, the club has, supporters have been pretty flat as well," Hannebery said.

"I felt that throughout the whole time to be honest and I felt the outside noise a little bit, although I've tried not to buy into it it has got to me a little bit because I've wanted to be out there more than anyone.

"I've tried to help as much as possible, whether that's been meetings, driving the group, driving standards, explaining what needs to be done from a training game perspective and helping wherever possible."

He said he'd had "tunnel vision" for so long about getting his body right, including a trip to Germany this year for treatment, that he hadn't really considered life after football.

Saints coach Brett Ratten said Hannebery had done all he could for the club in challenging circumstances.

"Everyone will say he didn't play many games and evaluate it through that and say it wasn't a success but Dan's had a huge success on others off the field," Ratten said.

"He's worked closely with some of our younger players; his voice and leadership in meetings.

"I think he's influenced others on the field to grow in those spaces so he's had a contribution here - not the way he wanted but he's contributed in different ways and he's been first class."