Toast Premiership Captain Easton Wood Retires

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Premiership Player
Jul 21, 2005
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Absolutely love Clint Easton Wood.
Will miss this Bullgod a lot.

True Dog

Premiership Player
Sep 27, 2011
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
New York Yankees
Sorry to see you go Easton, you're a great Bulldog person and our only living premiership capitain and all round friggen awesome bloke. Goodluck to you and your family.... Thanks for everything you've done for us and our club!!!


Premiers 2016
Mar 2, 2007
Bellarine Peninsular
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Melb Victory
I knew it would happen soon, but I seriously cried when I heard. His stability, and leadership around the club has been inspiring, his loyalty demonstrated by his early retirement for the sake of the team immense.

I will always remember Easton popping up when we needed him the most, kicking that first goal against the Hawks in the semi in 2016, leaping up to intercept and get crucial marks in so many games.

The 2016 Grand Final is still a bit of a blur for me, but one memory that I will always remember is of Woody celebrating by lying on the ground doing a red, white and blue paper angel.

Thanks you so much king of the Bullgods, legend of our football club.
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Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 1, 2012
Perth, Western Australia
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Swan Districts, Glory
‘I’d feel sick about that’: Easton Wood retires with a year to run
Daniel Cherny

By Daniel Cherny
October 22, 2021 — 11.00am
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Easton Wood couldn’t stomach the thought that he might let the Western Bulldogs down next year. The idea of always putting the club’s interests first had been drilled into him by Bob Murphy, the man alongside whom Wood held aloft the premiership cup in 2016, ending what was at the time the AFL’s longest premiership drought.
Wood was contracted for 2022, and pulling the pin a year early would mean relinquishing tens of thousands of dollars. But that was a secondary consideration.
[PLAYERCARD]Easton Wood[/PLAYERCARD] (right) has retired after 188 games, most famously captaining the Bulldogs to the 2016 flag.

Easton Wood (right) has retired after 188 games, most famously captaining the Bulldogs to the 2016 flag.CREDIT:JOE ARMAO
“No matter how much I was getting paid next year, if I felt like I was just rocking up to get a pay cheque knowing that ‘jeez at any moment if I pinged a string or I got dropped that I could just pull the pin’ and leave the club high and dry, I’d feel sick about that. I don’t think I’d be able to ever reconcile that, no matter how much was coming back the other way,” Wood told The Age.
So, having first thought about the idea of a premature retirement as early as May, Wood - after discussions with wife Tiff and a close circle of friends - has decided to forego his 2022 contract, retiring from the AFL after 188 games since being drafted at pick 43 out of high school at the end of 2007.

[PLAYERCARD]Easton Wood[/PLAYERCARD] flies during the grand final, what would prove to be his final game.

Easton Wood flies during the grand final, what would prove to be his final game.CREDIT:GETTY
The idea had first popped up during the round-nine win this year against Port Adelaide. The Dogs were flying, but the defender was faltering. His hamstring gave way early in the game. It was his third such injury of the year and the 20th of his career.
“You know how there’s the definition of insanity of doing the same thing twice and expect a different response? I was thinking, is that where I’m at and have I already crossed over? What’s going to change? That kind of incident rocked me a little bit. I thought that was my body saying it wasn’t kind of up to the demands of AFL.” Wood said.
Briefly, he pondered whether that would be it.
“You kind of catastrophise straight after the event and you kind of have to bottom out before you can come back up. I was confronting that idea of ‘am I done?’ And then after a few days, and you let the emotions settle a bit you go, ‘no I’m not, it’s round nine, it’s only a grade-one.’

“[But] once that idea was planted in my head it was kind of hard to avoid thinking about it.
The Demons are hoping for the grand final rematch to be played in round one on Friday night next year.
AFL 2022
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“The great thing was I kind of made a deal with myself that I’ll do everything I can to get back and if it goes again then that might be it. But if it doesn’t I’ll try to eke out as much [as I can].”
Eke he did. Though it took him more than two months to get back into the senior side, a journey that included a VFL stint and another month sidelined because of an ankle injury, Wood made it back. He was there for the Dogs’ capitulation over the final rounds of the home-and-away season, and then for their mighty national tour through the finals.
But the gnawing hadn’t gone away. And a brutal reality had dawned. Wood’s body, torn and repaired so regularly over the years, was no longer doing what his mind willed him to do.

“The thing that became apparent over that period and probably what’s been the driving factor in my decision-making is that whilst it was great to be back in the team and be fit, it’s a bit hard to confront but I’ve athletically declined. Just not quite as fast as I used to be and I can’t quite jump as high either. It’s only small, but it might mean missing the ball by a centimetre.
“Kind of confronting that reality I sat back and looked at next year and thought, ‘jeez I don’t want to decline more and find myself out of the team and go out that way,’ so I’ve decided to go out that slightly bit early, go out on my own terms and albeit not the way we wanted it to end, losing that grand final, but I go out playing at the pinnacle of the sport, so I’m really content and proud.”
[PLAYERCARD]Marcus Bontempelli[/PLAYERCARD] [PLAYERCARD]Easton Wood[/PLAYERCARD] embrace after the Bulldogs’ preliminary final win.

Marcus Bontempelli Easton Wood embrace after the Bulldogs’ preliminary final win.CREDIT:AFL PHOTOS
Coach Luke Beveridge was understanding. Having already witnessed a handful of premiership players step away while under contract for varying reasons, he did not seek to twist Wood’s arm.
“He said he was a little bit surprised, which was I suppose nice to hear, flattering. But he didn’t attempt to change my mind, he just thanked me for what I’d done. And obviously I thanked him because when he came along he turned me into a different player. I’ve had exactly half my career with him, and I became probably twice the player I was before he came along.”

Wood’s assertion that Beveridge changed his career is not an over-simplification. The backman had played 65 largely unobtrusive matches to the end of 2014 when the coach arrived. But Beveridge backed Wood to fly for his marks and win the ball, rather than just nullify.
The years that followed would bring a best-and-fairest crown and All-Australian blazer in 2015 before elevation to the vice-captaincy ahead of the 2016 campaign.

Has there ever been a more famous deputy in VFL/AFL history? Murphy’s season-ending knee injury in round three thrust Wood into the top job, and eventually into immortality as a premiership captain. Murphy resumed the captaincy in 2017 before Wood stepped up properly at the end of that season until Marcus Bontempelli took over.
Wood says his footballing peak came in the first quarter of the preliminary final win over Greater Western Sydney in which he “marked everything”.

He had been reluctant to dwell too much on the premiership at the time, mindful that at 27 he still had plenty of unfinished business.
“When I experienced it all in real-time, I really wanted to solidify those memories myself. I haven’t watched the grand final back. That was a really conscious decision to make sure my memories were through my own eyes ... but also at that stage I was probably in the prime of my career, and I was thinking ‘I want more.’ And I can’t get more by looking back.
Murphy and Wood after the 2016 grand final.

Murphy and Wood after the 2016 grand final.CREDIT:GETTY
“But I tell you what, I’ll be watching it pretty soon. There’ll be no guilt whatsoever, I’ll just chuck it on and live off the glory for a while!”
Wood, like so many Victorians after two COVID-riddled years, is in the short term just planning on enjoying the simple pleasures of life with Tiff, daughter Matilda (aged two), and son Frederick, soon to turn one.

Having stayed in Victoria during lockdown this time around, Wood wants Tiff to be able to dedicate time to her consultancy business.
“My wife’s incredible, she’s supported me through this whole thing.”
For Wood, there are no concrete plans about the next chapter from there. Staying in footy is an option, but after 14 years a break is welcome.
Whether he has a future in the game or not, his place in its history is secure. Bulldog VFL/AFL premiership captains. There are just two. Charlie Sutton, and the kid from Camperdown.
Amazing quotes, amazing person. Not many footballers would be so selfless. I don't know how much he would have been getting paid, but it may allow us to bring forward some payments to other players and helps us keep our stars who are coming out of contract.

It has genuinely shocked me and is sad news. Loved to watch Wood at full flight, got the most out of his oft-injured body.

I wonder what this means for us. Maybe we will go for a recently delisted player or maybe O'Brien just slots into Woods role with Gardiner and Cordy to battle it out as second key back.

Love Wood.

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Club Legend
Sep 25, 2016
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Thank you Easton Wood for everything you have done for the club


Premiership Player
May 17, 2004
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Well played, legend. As others have said, a Bullgod, a great bloke, and not bad looking. And probably one of the greatest on and off-field ambassadors this club has seen. Thanks for everything Easton Wood. :bulldogs::largeredcircle::mwcirlce::largebluecircle:

(I'm not crying, you're crying. :disrelieved:)


Premiership Player
May 17, 2004
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Great bloke, champion player at his peak and a fantastic role model to players and fans.

I wonder how many more games he might have played if he hadn’t suffered so many hamstring/quad injuries? 50?

Thanks for 13 14 years of great service and leading us to a flag.
Yes he is/was. Slight EFA though, apologies for being pedantic :) (drafted 2007, missed 2008 with injury, debuted 2009).


Premium Platinum
Sep 21, 2005
Brunswick East 3057
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Wet Sham, BANGOR FC, Down
Not much to add that hasn’t already been said but his work around gambling and betting advertising should be lauded.
yeah hope he continues this . He was the first player to speak out against gambling. It’s so courageous to be the the first. Much love.


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