Ruckman Orren Stephenson’s career comes to a close.

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Decorated North Ballarat Roosters ruckman Orren Stephenson has brought down the curtain on his VFL football career.

Stephenson announced his retirement from VFL playing and coaching at a press conference at Eureka Stadium in May.

“The time has come for me to retire but I’ve really enjoyed the opportunities I’ve been given here,” Stephenson said.

“I’ve had a lot of history here and that’s made it a difficult decision to go, but I’ve come to a stage in my life where my footy career has less days to go than to come.

Stephenson was born in Albury and played rugby as a teenager before moving to Ballarat and joining the Redan Football Club in 2002.

He played in a premiership with the club that year before joining the North Ballarat Roosters in 2005 under coach Gavin Crosisca.

He was one of only nine players to take part in the Roosters’ historic VFL three-peat of 2008, 2009 and 2010 under coach Gerard Fitzgerald.

In 2011, Stephenson became the AFL’s oldest ever draftee, being taken with Geelong’s last pick.

He played one season with the Cats before joining Richmond’s rookie list, playing with the Tigers from 2012-14.

He rejoined the Roosters in 2015 and was also involved in ruck coaching.

Stephenson is a VFL life member, made several VFL teams of the year and was awarded the best on ground medal in the 2009 grand final.

“I had got to the stage where I didn’t feel I could offer as much on the field but I will miss my teammates big time. You enjoy the days you come to training, the camaraderie and making lifelong friends.”

Teammate Andrew Hooper said it was a “very sad day”.

“We knew it was coming at some stage but I thought it was going to be more at the end of the year,” Hooper said.

“It’s going to take a long time to replace him.”

Roosters captain Tony Lockyer said it was a huge loss to the football club.

“I’ve been in the leadership group with Orren for a few years now and he will be sorely missed,” Lockyer said.

“He deserves an armchair ride off the football field.”

Decorated North Ballarat Roosters ruckman Orren Stephenson has brought down the curtain on his VFL football career.

Stephenson announced his retirement from VFL playing and coaching at a press conference at Eureka Stadium in May.

“The time has come for me to retire but I’ve really enjoyed the opportunities I’ve been given here,” Stephenson said.

“I’ve had a lot of history here and that’s made it a difficult decision to go, but I’ve come to a stage in my life where my footy career has less days to go than to come.

Stephenson was born in Albury and played rugby as a teenager before moving to Ballarat and joining the Redan Football Club in 2002.

He played in a premiership with the club that year before joining the North Ballarat Roosters in 2005 under coach Gavin Crosisca.

He was one of only nine players to take part in the Roosters’ historic VFL three-peat of 2008, 2009 and 2010 under coach Gerard Fitzgerald.

In 2011, Stephenson became the AFL’s oldest ever draftee, being taken with Geelong’s last pick.

He played one season with the Cats before joining Richmond’s rookie list, playing with the Tigers from 2012-14.

He rejoined the Roosters in 2015 and was also involved in ruck coaching.

Stephenson is a VFL life member, made several VFL teams of the year and was awarded the best on ground medal in the 2009 grand final.

“I had got to the stage where I didn’t feel I could offer as much on the field but I will miss my teammates big time. You enjoy the days you come to training, the camaraderie and making lifelong friends.”

Teammate Andrew Hooper said it was a “very sad day”.

“We knew it was coming at some stage but I thought it was going to be more at the end of the year,” Hooper said.

“It’s going to take a long time to replace him.”

Roosters captain Tony Lockyer said it was a huge loss to the football club.

“I’ve been in the leadership group with Orren for a few years now and he will be sorely missed,” Lockyer said.

“He deserves an armchair ride off the football field.”

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