Fremantle’s Byron Schammer will retire as an AFL player after Saturday’s round 24 clash against the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium.

The 26-year-old advised the playing group of his decision at today’s regular Monday team meeting.

A veteran of 128 games, Schammer, who played his first game for the season against Collingwood last Friday night, made his debut for Fremantle in round one, 2003, winning a Rising Star Nomination that year.

Recruited from West Adelaide, he was a first round selection for Fremantle (pick no. 13) in the 2002 AFL National Draft.

Schammer said today that he had been mulling over the decision to retire for the last half of the season.

“I’ve put my heart and soul into the footy club for nine years and I now want to be able to put my time and effort into something else,” he said.

He intends to focus his attention on a stockbroking career.

“I’m at an age now where I can go out there and attack that and put my skills and energies into it,” he said.

Schammer plans to remain in Perth and continue playing football at WAFL level.

“I’ll continue while the body is pretty good,” he said.

“I’m only 26. I’ll have a run in the WAFL next year and hopefully win a flag with Claremont this year.”

He thanked the Fremantle fans for their support throughout his career.

“It’s been amazing,” he said.

“I’m so proud to have played for Fremantle and I’ve always given it everything. I’m really proud and honoured to be a part of this football club and now I move on to the past players group.”

Senior coach Mark Harvey described Schammer as a popular player around the club who was always committed to his football.

“He left his family at a young age as a first round draft pick and dedicated his life to Fremantle,” he said.

Harvey said Schammer would be remembered as a “little terrier” on the field who always gave it his best shot.

“Whenever Byron played he always gave it his all,” he said.

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