St George Illawarra Dragons halfback Michael Witt announced on Friday his decision to retire from first-grade rugby league at the end of this season.
Witt, 30, who is presently recovering from a knee reconstruction sustained earlier this season, is yet to decide upon his next career move but is looking forward to the opportunity of spending more time with wife Angie and two children Mali and Laker.
“It was decision that I had been weighing up in the back of my mind earlier on this season and I have no regrets after twelve great seasons playing first-grade,” said Witt.
“To play in the NRL has always been a dream of mine and I’ve been privileged enough to have played more games than I could have ever imagined.
“Over the next several coming weeks I hope to start sorting out my future and commence the next chapter in my life alongside my family who have supported me throughout my career.”
The Newtown Lions junior retires having played his trade on two continents and accumulating a total of 179 first-games over his 12-season career
The Toowoomba-native made his debut with the Parramatta Eels in 2003 before later tenures with both the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles (2005-06) and the New Zealand Warriors (2007-09) in the NRL.
The pivot subsequently played with both the Crusaders (2010-11) and the London Broncos (2012-13) in the English Super League before returning to join the Dragons ahead of the 2014 campaign.
Witt started the season as the Dragons halfback but was limited to just four first-grade appearances alongside playing six games for the Illawarra Cutters in the NSW Cup, which included his final appearance against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at WIN Stadium in Round 13.
“My time with the Dragons was unfortunately cut short due to injuries which limited the amount of first-grade games I would have liked to have played,” said Witt.
“However, I have enjoyed every moment this season as a Dragon and take with me some great memories including the honour of having had the opportunity to wear the famous Red V jersey.”
Dragons Head Coach Paul McGregor congratulated Witt on his career and has wished him well in his future endeavours.
“Michael is a terrific individual who has gained valuable experience playing all over the world and he can be very proud of his career,” said McGregor.
“He has been more than willing to share this experience with the younger players here at the Dragons and even though he only played a few games, he has been a valuable contributor to our Club throughout the season.
“Twelve seasons playing at the top level is a great achievement and his decision to retire is something that would not have come easily but we wish him and his family all the best for the future.”