Aaron Sandilands’ 18th season in the AFL will be his last with the ruckman deciding to retire at the end of the 2019 season.

Sandilands, 36, will play a farewell home game this Saturday when Fremantle take on Essendon at Optus Stadium.

“It’s all over and I’ve decided to retire. It’s obviously been a good journey but it’s my time to hang up the boots and move on to something else in life,” Sandilands said in a statement.

“It’s been a really frustrating year in terms of not being able to play enough footy. The body is at the point now where I can’t get enough kms in the legs to be fit enough.”

Sandilands added that the farewell game this weekend wasn’t about him.

“It’s about being able to say thank you to the people who have done so much (for me) along the way and have been able to help me out and to get me to where I am now.

“To be able to go out there on Saturday night and say one last thank you to all the fans, who have been riding the highs and lows along the way as well, it will be pretty special.”

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General manager of football Peter Bell had nothing but praise for the Fremantle legend.

“It’s safe to say that the AFL will never see another player like Aaron,” Bell said.

“Aaron has the uncanny ability to make the difficult look easy, but no one worked harder than him to be at his fittest and strongest every game day.

“He is the model of what it means to be a Fremantle Docker. His work off the field to mentor our younger players has been second-to-none.”

Bell added that Sandilands’ contribution to the club will be “felt for many years to come.”

The big man is set to finish his career having played the third-most games for the club, trailing only Matthew Pavlich (353 games) and David Mundy (currently on 314).

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