MELBOURNE rookie Tim Smith has decided to hang up the boots after three years largely ruined by injury. 

The 28-year-old was drafted by the Demons from Casey in the 2017 NAB AFL Rookie Draft as a mature-age recruit, playing 13 AFL games up forward and as an undersized ruckman across his three seasons.

Smith was unable to string together more than three consecutive matches in that time at either AFL or VFL level, finishing his career with a foot injury. 

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"I think this is the best opportunity for me and my family," Smith told the Melbourne website.

"I'll get to spend a lot more time with my daughter and my soon-to-be wife and really enjoy that aspect of my life. I'm not getting any younger, and I don't feel like my body can get what I want to get out of it. 

"I don't think my body can handle that demand anymore and I just felt like it was the right decision for myself, and it allows someone else to come in and have the opportunity like I've had." 

His recent foot injury – ruling him out of the last month of footy was the turning point for Smith. 

"I had a lot of things to weigh up. I have a young family now and I'm heavily interested in plumbing outside of footy," he said.

"I had to decide whether I wanted to go through another year of potentially getting injured and being on the sidelines, or who knows, you might have a good year.

"It was the hardest decision I've had to make in a long time – to say to 'Goody' (coach Simon Goodwin) and Tim Lamb (the club's contract manager) that I want to give this away – because it's something that you strive and work so hard to get to. 

"But the decision was for me and my family."