The West Coast Eagles have decided against offering a contract for veteran defender Lewis Jetta going into the 2021 season.
The dual premiership player – with Sydney in 2012 and West Coast in 2018 – played 202 games in total, 75 of them as an Eagle.
The highly-skilled product from Bunbury, whose signature traits include his pace and ball skills, has been a popular figure at the club and a leader among the Eagles Indigenous players.
“It is always a very difficult time of the year that has been made more complex this year due to the uncertainties around AFL list sizes etc. Unfortunately we are not in a position to offer Lewis an opportunity beyond this year,” General Manager – Football Craig Vozzo said today.
“Lewis has been a highly valued member of our playing group for the last six years and will always be fondly remembered as a Chris Mainwaring medallist and a premiership player.
“We thank Lewis for his contribution to the club and wish him and his young family every success as he moves into the next phase of his life. His vibrant smile and personality will be missed around the place.”
Jetta played only six games in 2020, when players like Liam Duggan, Tom Cole and Jackson Nelson emerged as the next generation of defenders.
He played his 200th game of senior football in the round four game against Port Adelaide and then lost his place in the team.
Combined with the emergence of the next wave of defenders and a few injury concerns, Jetta played just two more games.
The silky-skilled utility player, who played forward when he was elevated back into the senior team in 2020, will be best remembered for two acts in his time at the Eagles – both of them in the exciting 2018 finals series.
The first came in the qualifying final against Collingwood when he intercepted the ball at half-forward, danced into space and kicked a crucial last-quarter goal. His Ronaldo-esque celebration is a constant on highlights reels.
Two weeks later, in the grand final, Jetta showed his leadership when he consoled young teammate Liam Ryan, who had a forgettable moment in the third quarter. Heading to the three quarter-time huddle, Jetta threw an arm over Ryan’s shoulder and offered a word of comfort.
History tells us Ryan went on to become a key figure in the premiership-winning play.