St Kilda has no plans to allow key defender Nathan Brown to end his AFL career without any fanfare.
The likelihood that the former North Ballarat Rebel has played his last game with the Saints has increased with his decision to leave St Kilda's Queensland hub and return to his family in Victoria.
"At the right time, if Nathan has played his last game for the Saints then we will recognise his contribution appropriately," St Kilda chief operating officer Simon Lethlean said.
"He is such a respected member of our team and the spiritual leader of the connection, culture and standards that we are building here at the Saints.
"The players and staff love 'the big fella' and we will miss him, but he has made the right call for him and his family, and we are very proud of him for that.
"At the end of the day, family comes first and for Nathan that means being at home in Victoria right now," Lethlean said.
Brown, who is not contracted beyond this year, is in his fourth season with St Kilda, having crossed from Collingwood at the end of 2016.
A Ballarat Swans junior, the 31-year-old was drafted by the Magpies with selection 10 in the 2006 AFL national draft after transitioning from being a promising junior basketballer to a leading role with the Rebels in the TAC Cup under-18s.
His twin brother Mitchell went to the West Coast Eagles with pick 16 in the same draft.
Nathan Brown debuted for the Magpies in round one in 2008 - that season named Collingwood's best first-year player - and two seasons later became a Collingwood premiership player.
Brown looked like missing out on playing in the 2010 grand final until injury sensationally struck down full back Simon Prestigiacomo to open the door for a last minute call-up.
Brown's performance against St Kilda star Nick Riewoldt in the draw ensured he retained his spot for the replay.
He played 130 games with Collingwood before joining St Kilda as a restricted free agent.
He described the move at the time as the "kick up the bum" he needed to reinvigorate his career.
Brown said he was a little surprised the club allowed him to depart.
"Being somewhere for 11 years, you get used to something and get into a habit in the way you're playing footy and all the kind of stuff.
"It's given me that kick up the bum I sort of needed at this time in my career to go again and to elevate again and get something more out of my career in terms of football," Brown said.
Brown has played 53 games for St Kilda, but has not made an appearance this year.
Meanwhile, the AFL begins a run of 33 matches in 20 consecutive days for rounds nine to 12 begins on Wednesday.