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James McDonald to swap footy for farming

James McDonald of the Giants in action during the AFL Round 22 match between the St Kilda Saints and the GWS Giants at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
James McDonald in action for the Giants in his final season in the AFL, 2012
GREATER Western Sydney assistant coach James McDonald will switch from football to agribusiness next year.

The former Melbourne champion has told the Giants he will finish with the club at the end of the 2014 season.
 
McDonald, who joined GWS as a player and assistant coach in 2011, told the club he wanted to pursue a change of career in agribusiness and step away from football.
 
McDonald played 13 games for GWS in 2012 for a career total of 264 after joining the club from Melbourne. He won the Demons best and fairest awards in 2006-7 and captained the club in 2009-10.

GWS chief David Matthews thanked McDonald for his efforts over the past three years.
 
"James was one of our foundation players and coaches and we will always be grateful for what he has done for the development of the Giants,” Matthews said.
  
McDonald said he had thoroughly enjoyed his time at GWS, having worked as midfield coach the past two seasons.
 
"It's been an honour to be part of this club as a player and a coach. It's been a great opportunity for myself and my family and one of the most satisfying things I have done in football," he said.
 
"I want to thank the Giants for giving me the chance to continue my football career and wish everyone associated with the club every success for the future.
 
"I have no doubt the club has a very bright future and I will follow its progress with a lot of interest."
 
Coach Leon Cameron said McDonald had played an important mentoring role for many young players.
 
"James has developed into an excellent coach and has the respect of our entire playing and coaching group," Cameron said.
 
"He has told us he wants to pursue a change of career and take a step back from AFL football and we wish him and Annabelle and the family all the best."