Now he’s an AFL premiership player at last, West Coast forward Mark LeCras feels it’s the perfect time to retire.
LeCras has announced he is ending his 219-game career, three weeks after he was a member of the Eagles team that beat Collingwood in an epic grand final.
The 32-year-old West Coast mainstay was in his second season when he was dropped during the 2006 finals series and missed out on that premiership.
“I was starting to wonder whether I’d ever get the chance to experience the elation that I have heard so many other players talk about. It’s everything they said and a little more,” he said.
The Eagles confirmed LeCras’ retirement after he met with coach Adam Simpson, chief executive Trevor Nisbett and football boss Craig Vozzo.
LeCras kicked 441 goals, leaving him third on West Coast’s all-time list behind Josh Kennedy (551) and Peter Sumich (514).
He kicked 12.2 against Essendon in 2010 at Etihad Stadium.
“I’m very comfortable with the decision,” LeCras said.
“I have had a couple of weeks to think about it, discuss it with my family and the club and it just feels like the right time.
“I couldn’t be happier after playing in a winning grand final with so many blokes who will be mates for the rest of my life.
LeCras made his debut in 2005 and only managed two games as the Eagles lost the grand final to Sydney.
A year later, he was dropped after two possessions in the qualifying final loss to the Swans and missed out when the Eagles turning the tables on Sydney in the grand final.
He played in the 2015 grand final, but Hawthorn outclassed West Coast.
LeCras enjoyed a complete career, earning All-Australian selection, winning the club best and fairest and twice topping West Coast’s goalkicking.
But it came at a cost – apart from the grand final disappointments, LeCras also needed a knee reconstruction.
“Every West Coast fan probably felt something a little special for him when he was finally presented with his premiership medallion. No one was more deserving,” Nisbett said.
MARK LECRAS BY THE NUMBERS
* DOB 30/8/86
* 219 games, 2005-18
* 441 goals at an average of 2.01 per game, third-highest Eagles goalkicker
* 2018 premiership player
* 2010 All-Australian
* ‘2009-10 club leading goal-kicker
* 2010 best and fairest