Former number one draft picks Kreuzer, Gibbs announce AFL retirements

Former Carlton teammates and the top picks in consecutive AFL drafts, Matthew Kreuzer and Bryce Gibbs, have both called time on their careers.

Blues ruckman Kreuzer, the 2007 number one draft pick, said he was mentally “cooked” after years of battling injuries and joked he “leaked” information about his retirement to avoid extra attention.

Adelaide announced Gibbs, who the Blues selected with the number one pick in the 2006 national draft, would play his final AFL match against his former club on Sunday.

“I gave it everything. Would’ve been nice to keep going but I’m cooked,” Kreuzer told Carlton teammates.

“The mind can’t do what the body wants to do anymore.

Between 2005 and 2007, Carlton had three consecutive number one selections — Marc Murphy, Gibbs and Kreuzer.


Murphy, 33, has enjoyed a decorated career with the Blues and is set to play again in 2021.

The injury-plagued Kreuzer played 189 matches and booted 94 goals for the Blues over 13 seasons but has been absent since the season restart with a serious foot injury suffered in round one.

The 31-year-old had rejoined the Blues in their Queensland hub after previously returning to Victoria for treatment on his foot.

Despite retiring, he will remain in Queensland with the team until the Blues’ season ends.

Kreuzer was a popular player among Blues supporters due to his work rate and athleticism.

His best season came in 2017, when he finished third in Carlton’s best and fairest and was named in the 40-man All Australian squad.

Gibbs ‘forever grateful’

Gibbs is retiring a year before his Adelaide contract was due to finish in 2021.

“The Carlton Football Club gave me the opportunity to fulfil a boyhood dream and I cannot thank them enough,” Gibbs said.

“It was home for 11 years and the club shaped me into the person I am today, and I’ll be forever grateful for everything they have done for me.

“I have given my all in 14 seasons at the top level and I’m looking forward to playing against some of my lifelong friends one final time.”

Bryce Gibbs celebrates a goal for Adelaide
Bryce Gibbs (centre) joined the Crows ahead of the 2018 season.(AAP: Julian Smith)

Gibbs played 231 matches and kicked 137 goals for the Blues, winning the John Nicholls Medal in 2014 and finishing top five in the Blues’ best and fairest in eight of 11 seasons at Carlton.

He unsuccessfully sought a trade to hometown club Adelaide at the end of 2016, before ultimately joining the Crows at the conclusion of the following season.

Gibbs played all 22 matches in 2018 and was fourth in Adelaide’s club champion awards but fell out of favour to play just 12 matches in 2019 and two this year.