Beloved Canberra pair Sam Martyn and Ben Halse will retire from NEAFL football at the end of the 2019 season.
The defenders told teammates of their decision at training on Thursday night and will play their final home game on Saturday afternoon when Canberra clash with Aspley at UNSW Canberra (Manuka) Oval.
Martyn, moved to South Australia when he finished school and while he never realised his AFL dream, spent two years on the Adelaide Crows list developing his craft with Woodville West Torrens in the SANFL before signing on as a Canberra foundation player in 2016.
"I’ve really enjoyed my time at Canberra, I've got a lot of great mates in this room, and mates that I'll have for the rest of my life," Martyn said.
"I’ve grown a lot being here, I came over a bit of a hot head and didn’t mind giving a spray or two."
"I’ve been able to build my leadership at this club and I need to thank Kade and the coaching staff for giving me the opportunity to do that."
"I still have my little outbursts but the umpires cop the brunt of that, I won’t miss them to much," he laughed.
The 27-year-old told canberrademons.com.au he plans to travel next season before returning to football in a coaching capacity.
"I'm definitely not retiring from football, just at this level."
"I think when I come back I’d like to move into coaching, in some aspect."
Fellow defender Ben Halse, celebrated his 100th NEAFL game earlier this month, having previously starred for Eastlake and the GWS GIANTS Academy.
The 24-year-old says while he has loved every second of playing for Canberra, the time is right to step away from NEAFL football.
"I want to take work a bit more seriously next year, and really just take a break from football," Halse said.
"I’ve played for a number of years in this competition, so I think it’s time to take a step back and jump down to a lower level."
"I’ve enjoyed every moment with the boys, it’s been a great experience and if this group stays together, continues to work hard, the sky is the limit."