JAMES McDonald will move into a full-time assistant coaching role with Greater Western Sydney after bringing an end to his playing career.
This is the second time McDonald has retired, but on this occasion it is on his terms.
McDonald was forced to end a distinguished playing career with Melbourne in 2010.
The Giants convinced to play again, combining on-field commitments with an assistant coaching position.
McDonald, who is originally from Waubra, retires after 264 AFL games – 251 with the Demons.
He captained Melbourne in 2009-10, won the club’s best and fairest in 2006-7 and was a member of the 2006 All-Australian team.
The 35-year-old played 13 games with the Giants this season.
GWS football general manager Graeme Allan said McDonald had made an important on-field contribution during the Giants’ inaugural year in the AFL.
“We now look forward to him becoming a full-time assistant coach next year and further developing our young playing list,” Allan said.
McDonald played with North Ballarat Rebels, but was recruited by Melbourne from the Old Xaverians in the VAFA in a rookie draft.
He made his AFL debut in 1997.
McDonald was the youngest of three brothers to play in the AFL.