Travis Cloke has quit the AFL.
Travis Cloke has quit the AFL. JULIAN SMITH

Veteran Cloke calls time on AFL career

VETERAN key forward Travis Cloke has announced his retirement from AFL football.

The Western Bulldogs confirmed the news on Wednesday morning after they met with Cloke post-trade period.

The Bulldogs were upfront with Cloke during that meeting, informing him that he mightn't feature too frequently in the senior team in 2018.

"The fire was still there to play on, but I appreciate the club being honest about my prospects of playing senior football next year," Cloke said in a statement.

Bulldogs list manager Jason McCartney said Cloke's call was a "mutual decision" by both parties.

"We had a discussion with Travis and his management about the opportunities for him to play senior football in 2018, based on the make-up of the list and the players we have brought into the football club since the end of the season," McCartney said.

"A mutual decision was made based on those discussions, that Travis would retire from the game."

"We'd like to congratulate Travis on an outstanding career, for his contribution to the Western Bulldogs in 2017, and wish him and his family the best for the future."

Cloke's retirement comes just days after the Bulldogs secured fellow key forward Josh Schache from Brisbane in one of the final trades lodged on a frantic final day of the league's exchange period.

After booting 441 goals from 246 games - including the 2010 premiership - with the Magpies, Cloke was traded from Collingwood at the end of the 2016 season, signing a two-year deal with the Bulldogs. His retirement means he'll not see out the final year of his contract at the Bulldogs.

He played just 10 senior games for the Dogs in 2017 - a season that also saw him take a few weeks of personal leave after announcing that he was dealing with mental health issues.

"It's important to acknowledge the career Travis has had in the game," Bulldogs football director Chris Grant said.

"To finish as a premiership player and notch over 250 games is a fantastic career, and he should be very proud of everything he has achieved.

"We thoroughly enjoyed having him at the club in the last 12 months and we wish him well."

In his prime, Cloke was one of the best and most dominant forward in the competition.

He was ranked first in the AFL for average contested marks for four consecutive seasons between 2010 and 2013. Of those four seasons, he booted 50 or more goals three times, peaking at 69 in 2011.

The Eastern Ranges junior was also selected in the All-Australian team twice (2011 and 2013) and won Collingwood's 2007 best and fairest as a 20-year-old

Cloke was taken by the Pies with Pick 40 in the 2004 national draft as a father-son selection. His father David played 114 of his 333 games with the Magpies.

Cloke also spent a few years on the same Collingwood list as brothers Jason and Cameron before both left the club at the end of the 2006 season.

News Corp Australia

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