The players relived to see Carlton Blues champion Eddie Betts retire

The players relived to see Carlton Blues champion Eddie Betts retire

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The only people pleased to see Eddie Betts retire, as opposed to seeing the soul-destroying sight of the back of him, are defenders according to one of those sad but relieved backmen, Dylan Grimes.

“He was just that player that kept you on edge 100 per cent of the game, and the slightest little sniff could mean a goal or two against,” said Richmond’s Grimes, one of the men to have spent a career being stressed by the idea of having to man the master conjurer Betts for a game.

Danger man: Eddie Betts always kept defenders on their toes.

Danger man: Eddie Betts always kept defenders on their toes.Credit:Getty Images

“He was just so good at sniffing out an opportunity and capitalising on that opportunity.

“I don’t think there will be a football fan in the land that won’t be disappointed that he is retiring, but there will certainly be a few backs that are very relieved they won’t have to play on him again.”

Modern game plans ask more regularly for teams to play with a group mentality when it comes to defending. One player seldom plays on one other player in defence – they zone off and move across and double team, and cover for one another.

That is, unless they played on players such as Eddie Betts, who demanded undivided attention and afforded an opponent no liberty to leave him alone to go and help a teammate.

“I don’t think there will be a football fan in the land that won’t be disappointed that he is retiring, but there will certainly be a few backs that are very relieved they won’t have to play on him again.”

Triple premiership-winning Tiger Dylan Grimes on Eddie Betts

“There’s players you go into a game thinking I might be able to impact offensively, or I might be able to drop off and try and take some marks, but it wasn’t the case when you were playing on Eddie because he just kept you so accountable because he was so dangerous around the ball,” Grimes said.

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