Collingwood veteran and vice-captain James Clement has shocked the club by announcing his retirement after the teams’ preliminary final loss to Geelong. His decision stunned the board and coaching staff who had no idea that the star backman had any plans of retirement. The 31 year old missed a large chunk of the 2007 season after tearing his calf in Round 6. He played just 13 out of a possible 25 games. It is believed that Clemtent wanted to focus on his family life and his career outside of football and that he wanted to leave football while he was still needed.

The dual Copeland Trophy winner and All-Australian played 230 games, including 146 at Collingwood, after his debut with Fremantle in 1996.