BRAD GREEN says he will harbour no grievance towards Melbourne when his AFL career ends at the start of next month.
Green, 31 and out of contract at the end of the season, confirmed today he would retire once the Demons' season ended in round 23. He also said he would not seek to extend his career elsewhere.
The former Tasmanian has endured a tough year, first losing the captaincy of the club after just one season and then being sidelined by a number of minor injuries.
In the past month, however, his form has improved markedly, most notably last Sunday when he kicked a game-high five goals against Gold Coast.
"I know where this group needs to go, and for them to move forward I need to step aside and let this emerging talent grow," he said today when asked about his rationale. "I never wanted to overstay my welcome and take a young guy's spot."
Green's current tally of 251 matches - and possibly 255 by season's end - will leave him ensconced in Melbourne's top 10 for appearances.
After being drafted in 1999 and playing in a grand final in his first season, significant finals success has eluded Green.
His career goal tally currently stands at 346. He won the Demons' best and fairest award in 2010, the year he was also shortlisted for the All-Australian team.
Green said he would be "forever indebted" to the Demons.
"I have spent half my life here, it's like my second family. I love this joint and I will forever love it. But you have to move on in life — and life sucks."
First-year coach Mark Neeld said he and Green had been discussing options for next year - including Green's retirement - for "quite a few months".
Asked directly if he had sought to persuade Green to play on next season, Neeld intimated he had not. He commended the utility for being a "rare" exmaple of a player retiring "with some energy left in the tank".
"It's very important to note the form Brad's going to leave the game in. He's certainly been one of our best-performed players over the past few weeks and no doubt that will continue," Neeld said.
"One of the things we talked about was 'What does your 14th pre-season look like?'.
"I think Brad's called it really well. He's got some energy left in the tank, no doubt, but Brad's come to the decision it's probably not full enough to get through a 14th year."