Geelong’s Jack Steven retires with year remaining on AFL contract

Geelong midfielder Jack Steven has retired from the AFL, despite having one season remaining on his contract with the Cats.

Steven was a high-profile recruit for the Cats ahead of the 2020 season following a decorated career with St Kilda.

But his time at the Cats was marred by an off-field incident last May when he was hospitalised after sustaining a chest wound.

Police investigated the incident but no charges were laid.

The 30-year-old made his Cats debut in round three once the AFL season resumed following its coronavirus-enforced shutdown.

He only made nine appearances for the club during 2020, however, and did not play in the grand final loss to Richmond after being dropped ahead of the finals series.

“We are happy for Jack that he has made this decision and wish him well in his future,” Geelong’s general manager of football Simon Lloyd said in a statement.

“Jack had an outstanding career and we enjoyed having him play with us this year.

“It’s great that Jack is back home on the Bellarine and we look forward to seeing him enjoy the post-football part of his life.”

Steven left the Saints for the Cats after the 2019 season in exchange for pick 58 in the national draft.

He made his senior debut with the Saints in 2008 and went on to play 183 matches for the club.

Steven won St Kilda’s best and fairest award on four occasions.

He took an extended break from the AFL during the 2019 season to manage his mental health, having also had time off in the previous preseason.