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Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs winger Steve Turner has today announced his retirement from rugby league, effective immediately.
The Cambridge Park and Cranebrook Panthers junior has made the decision off the back of a debilitating knee injury that is hampering his ability to train and play to the best of his ability.
The former Panthers, Storm and now Bulldogs player played a total of 161 matches (Panthers 2, Storm 105, Bulldogs 54) after making his debut for the Panthers against the Storm in round 23 of season 2002.
Turner, 28, also made one appearance for City Origin in season 2012 and also represented New South Wales on one occasion throughout the 2008 series.
Although young enough to continue playing, Turner’s knee is causing him a lot of pain and he does not wish to continue in his current state.
“My body just isn’t holding up for me anymore,” Turner said. “It’s unfortunate for it to end like this but I have no other choice with how much that it is mentally and physically draining me.
“It’s so hard when your head is telling you that you want to do something but your body just doesn’t let you.
“I actually had some extra knee surgery just before Christmas that no one knew about and I’ve been finding it hard enough to train let alone being able to go out and play as best as I can.
“I could be selfish and continue to play but that wouldn’t be helping out anyone but myself and that is not the type of person I am.”
Turner will remain at the Club in a Media Assistant role, doing similar work to what he did throughout his recovery from injury in season 2012.
“I definitely want to head down the path of working in the media.
“I have a big interest in that and managed to build myself a bit of a profile last year so it’ll be good to keep doing some work at the Club and hopefully get some extra work around the place as well.
Although admitting that the timing isn’t ideal, Turner believes he is leaving the playing ranks in the healthiest position it’s been in for a long time.
“The senior playing group and the younger guys here are in a great place at the moment and I have no doubt they will continue to grow as a side and go well.
“This has been a really tough period throughout the last four to six weeks. Even waking up and thinking about the training day ahead has been difficult.”
Coach Des Hasler said he commends Turner for his efforts as a player here at the Club.
“Steve’s decision has been made in line of his team and Club first,” Hasler said. “It is clearly a reflection of the individual.
“He will be sorely missed because of his professionalism and experience but the Club is hopeful that he will stay on in some capacity.”
Chief Executive officer Todd Greenberg believes the great career that he has had on the field can now be mirrored off the field.
“He is a man that has always put the Club and team first,” Greenberg said. “The professionalism he brought to the Club when he arrived was outstanding and he has passed that on to the rest of the playing group throughout his three seasons here as a player.
“It will be great to have him here in and around the Club and everyone looks forward to continuing to work with Steve.”