Geelong’s ‘Dad’s Army’ has lost one of its veterans after defender Lachie Henderson announced his AFL retirement.
Henderson was one of the 11 Geelong players who were 30 years or older that took to the field in the club’s 83-point preliminary final loss to Melbourne in Perth.
The 31-year-old played 15 games for Brisbane at the start of his career before adding another 102 with Carlton from 2010 to 2015.
His most successful period as a player came at Geelong, where he played 13 of his 18 finals appearances in his six seasons as a Cat.
Henderson was part of Geelong’s losing 2020 grand final side, and he also made preliminary finals appearances in 2016, 2017, 2019, and 2021.
The 206-game veteran was delisted from Geelong at the end of 2019, but was able to stay at the club for two more years after winning a spot on the rookie list.
Henderson spent significant periods as a forward during the first half of his career, but he played his best football as a defender.
“He was a strong clubman and always focused on improving his teammates,” Geelong’s general manager of football Simon Lloyd said.
“Lachie could always be depended on and helped the club to the finals in each of his seasons with us.”
Forward Josh Jenkins announced his retirement recently after managing just two games with the Cats since leaving Adelaide at the end of 2019.
Category B rookie Stefan Okunbor has returned to Ireland following three years with Geelong.
“Stefan showed great desire and commitment to become a better player,” Lloyd said.
“He was limited by injury and the lack of games through the shutdown. He is now back in Ireland and we hope he can enjoy a successful Gaelic football career.”
The Cats look set to lose contracted defender Jordan Clark, who appears likely to join Fremantle if a trade can be done.