Henderson hangs up the boots

Lachie Henderson. (Cats Media)

Geelong defender Lachie Henderson has announced his retirement from the AFL following the 2021 season.

Henderson played as both a forward and defender, but his most vital role for the Cats was down back.

The 31-year-old played 89 games in the navy and white hoops, and was a member of Cats finals teams in each of his six seasons at Kardinia Park.

Geelong delisted Henderson at the end of the 2019 season, but the club re-selected him at pick 35 in the rookie draft.

The tall defender used the second chance to rejuvenated himself as a footballer, playing a further 35 games matching up on and often nullifying opposition key forwards.

A member of Geelong’s grand final team in 2020, Henderson played in 13 finals for the club.

He played 206 AFL games and kicked 117 goals while representing Brisbane, Carlton and Geelong over 14 seasons.

“Lachie has made a significant contribution since joining the club in 2016,” Geelong Cats football general manger Simon Lloyd said.

“He was a strong clubman and always focused on improving his teammates.

“Lachie could always be depended on and helped the club to the finals in each of his seasons with us.”

Meanwhile, category B rookie Stefan Okunbor has returned to Ireland following three years with Geelong Cats.

Okunbor, from Tralee in county Kerry, played 17 VFL matches in his three seasons.

Playing mainly as a defender and run-with player, Okunbor overcame an achilles injury and limited game time due to the COVID-19 shutdown.

“Stefan showed great desire and commitment to become a better player. He was limited by injury and the lack of games through the shutdown,” Lloyd said.

“He is now back in Ireland and we hope he can enjoy a successful Gaelic football career. Everyone at the club wishes Lachie and Stefan well in their future endeavours.”