Ryan Hoffman has today called time on what has been a prestigious career in the NRL.
Hoffman, 34 years old, will retire at seasons end after 319 games in NRL thus far, playing 60 for the New Zealand Warriors and achieving 259 appearances for the Melbourne Storm.
Joining the 300-club back in 2017- Hoffman, or ‘Hoffy’ as he is mostly known, is ranked fifth in most games played for the Storm after making his first grade debut in Round 6, 2003.
Hoffman has become a favourite amongst the Storm fans, appearing in 22 finals for the Storm over the years, including four grand finals.
In 2011, UK Super League team Wigan Warriors signed Hoffman on a one year deal, but he later rejoined the Storm in 2012, where he was apart of a famous premiership victory for the club.
After two more solid years in the purple jersey, Hoffman made the move across the Tasman to join the New Zealand Warriors on a three-year-deal, captaining the side in 2016.
The veteran once again returned to Melbourne at the end of 2017, and it only seems fitting that Hoffman will finish off his wonderful career where it all began 16 seasons ago.
Hoffman told the Melbourne Storm he is very grateful for being able to live out a childhood dream.
“I feel have achieved everything I can in the game and while it was hard to say the words out loud for the first time, I’m very content with the decision. I haven’t lost of the love for the game, however I knew my time as a player was finished and I know this is the right decision,” Hoffman told melbournestorm.com.au.
“While the success I’ve enjoyed as part of the teams I’ve played in have been great moments, for me the real highlight of my career has been the people I’ve met and the lifelong friends I’ve made.
“I’m very thankful to Melbourne Storm for giving me my first chance at and NRL club and for allowing me to explore the rugby league world with my time at Wigan and the Warriors.”
At seasons end, Hoffman will take up a new role in the Football administration department, working alongside Melbourne’s Football Director Frank Ponissi.
Ponissi, along with many at the Storm, have high praise for Hoffman, stating not many have been able to accomplish all that Hoffy has.
“He is one of the greatest players to ever pull on the purple jersey and every time he has done so, he has represented our Club with distinction, class and passion,” Ponissi told the club’s website.
“Ryan for a large part of his career has always shown an interest and passion in football administration and management as a potential career once his playing days came to an end.”