Peter Sterling: Thanks for the memories...

I don’t mind admitting to shedding a few tears on the afternoon I announced my retirement.<br><br>It’s not easy to come to terms with the realization that something that has been such a focal point of your life is all of a sudden gone. I still remember how lost I felt for months especially on those days that would normally have seen me at club training - a routine that had existed for 15 years. <br><br>This weekend five players will also finish up what have all been lengthy careers. Not exactly the way they would have liked, with their respective clubs missing out on a finals’ berth, but at least they will leave on their own terms by being the ones to have made the decision.<br><br>For Brett Kimmorley it could not have been an easy one with a host of clubs still interested in his services, that alone is a great testament to what has been an outstanding career spanning 16 seasons.<br><br>After beginning with the Knights in 1995 it will include 20 Tests, 10 Origins, 307 first grade appearances and a Premiership title with Melbourne. That 1999 success also saw him awarded the Clive Churchill medal.<br><br>He is one of just 15 players to have amassed 300-plus games and has the distinction of being the only halfback to have done so.<br><br>Despite all these highs, he has also endured his share of lows.<br><br>Brett was part of the unfortunate Northern Eagles franchise and carried the millstone of a costly intercept pass thrown in game one of the 2005 Origin series which was swooped upon in extra-time by Matt Bowen.<br><br>What I found particularly admirable was his capacity to alter a style of play that had become predictable. When joining the Bulldogs in ’09 he changed his customary flat ball service to using the football before the line which created time and space for his outside supports.<br><br>That added an extra string to his bow, although as we saw on Monday night in putting Jamal Idris over, he is still adept at going right to the line.<br><br><a href="http://www.nrl.com/gameAnalyser/tabId/10910/default.aspx?seasonID=240?seasonid=240&amp;roundid=861&amp;fixtureid=50020102508&amp;videoquality=1&amp;type=try&amp;period=1&amp;time=527">CLICK HERE to see Kimmorley's ability to create play up at the line.</a><br><br>His kick/chase was always exceptional and his short kicking game still reaped plenty of rewards for the ‘Dogs this year in a disappointing campaign.<br><br><a href="http://www.nrl.com/gameAnalyser/tabId/10910/default.aspx?seasonID=240?seasonid=240&amp;roundid=849&amp;fixtureid=50020101302&amp;videoquality=1&amp;type=try&amp;period=2&amp;time=747">CLICK HERE to see Kimmorley's short kicking game in action to create a try for Andrew Ryan.</a><br><br><a href="http://www.nrl.com/gameAnalyser/tabId/10910/default.aspx?seasonID=240?seasonid=240&amp;roundid=857&amp;fixtureid=50020102101&amp;videoquality=1&amp;type=try&amp;period=2&amp;time=1761">CLICK HERE to see Kimmorley's kicking game again on song to send Luke Patten over for his 100th try.</a><br><br>There haven’t been too many kicks from Parramatta’s Nathan Cayless over the last 14 years although he is one of the rare props to have potted a field goal in first grade.<br><br>With 259 games under his belt he will be behind only teammate Nathan Hindmarsh and Brett Kenny in all time appearances for the Eels. However his greatest achievement is that no-one is in front of him for the number of times of captaining a first grade side in the history of the game.<br><br>This weekend when he leads the team out against the Warriors it will be the 220th time that he has been in charge of his beloved blue and golds.<br><br>His leadership qualities were also recognized early on at international level when he was given the honour of captaining New Zealand against France way back in 2001. Seven years later he lifted the trophy for the Kiwis as World Cup champions, again as their skipper.<br><br>As a one club player, Nathan always led by example, had good footwork for a big man and was invariably one of the Eels' leading off-loaders.<br><br><a href="http://www.nrl.com/gameAnalyser/tabId/10910/default.aspx?seasonID=240?seasonid=240&amp;roundid=849&amp;fixtureid=50020101301&amp;videoquality=1&amp;type=try&amp;period=2&amp;time=2622">CLICK HERE to see Cayless's off-loading ability create a try for Kris Keating.</a><br><br>As a former Temora Dragon it seems appropriate that Trent Barrett wore red and white for much of his 15 year career at Illawarra, St George Illawarra and Wigan before finishing up with Cronulla.<br><br>Not many players leave the NRL for England and successfully return to make an impact in the Australian game. After two seasons abroad Trent was recruited by the struggling Sharks and such has been his form he represented the Blues in the last two Origin series.<br><br>After heading to Wollongong and the Steelers as a teenager in 1996, he will have played 235 first grade games in Australia and turned out for Wigan a further 58 times. On the representative front there have been 15 Tests and 11 Origins.<br><br>Whilst Trent has worn the No.6 on his back for the bulk of his career, he played very much like a second lock forward. His passing game was crisp but he always looked more menacing when running the ball.<br><br>His 18 tries in 1998 for the Steelers is still the record for the most in a single season by a five-eighth.<br><br>Despite the wear and tear, Trent’s support play has never dropped off and his influence on the younger players at the Sharks will prove invaluable.<br><br><a href="http://www.nrl.com/gameAnalyser/tabId/10910/default.aspx?seasonID=240?seasonid=240&amp;roundid=849&amp;fixtureid=50020101304&amp;videoquality=1&amp;type=linebreak&amp;period=2&amp;time=2498">CLICK HERE to see Barrett create a line break and then score against the Roosters in Round 13.</a><br><br><a href="http://www.nrl.com/gameAnalyser/tabId/10910/default.aspx?seasonID=240?seasonid=240&amp;roundid=858&amp;fixtureid=50020102205&amp;videoquality=1&amp;type=try&amp;period=1&amp;time=1483">CLICK HERE to see Barrett again support for a try, this time against the Warriors.</a><br><br>Teammate Luke Covell also hangs up the boots and will do so as a mix of medical marvel and supreme reverse psychologist.<br><br>The goal-kicking winger ruptured his cruciate ligament in Round 4 against the Eels which would normally mean a 12 month rehabilitation. Instead, he opted for the revolutionary LARS (ligament augmentation &amp; reconstructive system) surgery and was back for the Round 18 clash against Newcastle.<br><br>A number of seasons back he declared himself as the slowest winger in the NRL. Admittedly, he was never a speedster but his positional play and finishing ability more than compensated, which tries against the Storm and Titans over the past fortnight has demonstrated.<br><br><a href="http://www.nrl.com/gameAnalyser/tabId/10910/default.aspx?seasonID=240?seasonid=240&amp;roundid=860&amp;fixtureid=50020102405&amp;videoquality=1&amp;type=try&amp;period=2&amp;time=1409">CLICK HERE to see Covell finish off a try against the Storm.</a><br><br><a href="http://www.nrl.com/gameAnalyser/tabId/10910/default.aspx?seasonID=240?seasonid=240&amp;roundid=861&amp;fixtureid=50020102503&amp;videoquality=1&amp;type=try&amp;period=1&amp;time=361">CLICK HERE to see Covell just hang on post a try as the Sharks rolled the Titans.</a><br><br>It was a shrewd call to lull opponents into underestimating his real danger.<br><br>After 153 games with the Tigers and Sharks he will finish a Kiwi international and leading point-scorer of the 2008 season.<br><br>Also eclipsing the 150 game mark is the Cowboys' Ty Williams who, like Covell, has battled hard to overcome serious injury to make his way back into first grade.<br><br>The past four years has seen a litany of achilles and knee problems but five tries in his last four games has highlighted a successful and consistent return to a club that lacked a cutting edge all season.<br><br><a href="http://www.nrl.com/gameAnalyser/tabId/10910/default.aspx?seasonID=240?seasonid=240&amp;roundid=860&amp;fixtureid=50020102404&amp;videoquality=1&amp;type=try&amp;period=1&amp;time=1281">CLICK HERE to see Williams crash over against the Bulldogs in Round 24.</a><br><br><a href="http://www.nrl.com/gameAnalyser/tabId/10910/default.aspx?seasonID=240?seasonid=240&amp;roundid=859&amp;fixtureid=50020102303&amp;videoquality=1&amp;type=try&amp;period=2&amp;time=667">CLICK HERE to see Williams in action against the Titans in Round 23.</a><br><br>It came as something of a surprise then to learn that the former Maroons Origin rep was pulling the pin after so much hard work. In the end, it’s the body that makes the mind up in coming to such a decision.<br><br>Ty played for Queensland in all three games of the 2005 series, scoring on debut, and was a member of the Cowboys Grand Final side of the same year. He bows out as a one-club player. <br><br>Canberra’s Scott Logan is hoping that results go the Raiders way this weekend so that his career will be extended for a few more weeks whilst we know that dual international Mat Rogers will be on show for the Titans in the finals.<br><br>All of these players will join Steve Price, Steve Simpson and Shane Elford who, due to injury, have already drawn the curtain in 2010. We wish them all well. <br>