Hocking was drafted as a Rookie in 2006. He made his debut in Essendon’s 10 point win over Carlton in Round 20, 2007, and went on to play 126 games for the Bombers.

General Manager of Football Rob Kerr thanked Heath for his valuable contribution to the club over his 12 year career.

“Heath has been a wonderful player and highly respected Essendon person over a long period of time” Kerr said

“Drafted as a rookie, Heath earned his spot on the senior list and went on to become a 100 game player for the club.”

“He is a true competitor, tough, uncompromising and the ultimate professional, on and off the field.”

Hocking thanked the club for giving him the opportunity to play AFL football at the highest level.

“I feel as though I’m a better person for being involved with the footy club," he said.

“Thank you to my teammates and coaches. I have some great memories and I’ve met so many great people, who I will have friendships with for life.

“I’m sad that it has come to an end but I’m excited for the future and what that holds.

“Thanks to all the fans for their support over the journey. They make the club what it is.

“Saying that, I hope my journey isn’t over and I’m excited for where the future takes me.”