After 102 games and four Bruce Montgomery Trophies, Matt Hanson has decided to call time on his stellar VFL football career.
The popular Taswegian let the dust settle after the Grand Final loss to ponder his football future.
“It was an emotional decision but it is the right one,” Hanson told Werribeefc.com.au. “From my ninth year to my first year at the club, it is such a different thing. You arrive as an 18 year old and you have all eyes on the football, because you don’t really know much else. You get to training at 3.30 and you are there ‘til 9 o’clock.”
“Now with a young family and a business, time is very precious. It is a massive juggle. Kat has sacrificed a lot with her business to allow me to continue playing at VFL level and Henley is getting a bit older, so it felt right for where we are as a family at the moment.”
Hanson’s last game was the 2023 Grand Final, a lasting and slightly bitter memory.
“We nearly got there in the end. We just fell short to a really good side on the day, but I think all of us can hold our heads high. We had a really good crack.”
You don’t have to tell the Werribee faithful how good a player Matt Hanson was and all still wonder why AFL recruiters didn’t see what those in the stands of Chirnside Park saw week after week from the number 11.
What would Matt say to those following in his footsteps on arrival at Avalon Airport Oval?
“Just dig in. Don’t leave anything to chance. Do your best, be a sponge, soak up as much info as you can. Talk to guys like Brewy (Dom Brew) Coggo (Nick Coughlan) Shawny Mannagh, Kye (Declase) all those guys. Learn from them. What do they do before training and after training? What do they do on off nights for recovery to improve themselves? All those sorts of things that will put you in a good spot for wherever football takes you and life as well. You don’t have to be drafted to have a successful career at football. There are other things in life that mean so much more to individuals than just football like family, business and work.”
Matt Hanson will be fondly remembered by supporters as a player who always gave 100%.
“Thanks to the Werribee football club faithful, to everyone involved. Thanks you so very much. Without your support, we as players are nothing. You guys are the backbone of the club The supporters are everything to us, we thrive on you come game day.”
“Keep showing up because there is going to be a very bright future. After 9 seasons, the Werribee Football Club will always be my home. I will try to get to as many games as I can and it will always have a very special place in my heart.”
Hanson will still be having a kick with Airport West in the Essendon District League and everyone at the club wishes him the best of luck.