A PERSISTENT knee injury has forced Gold Coast defender Nick Malceski to retire.

Malceski, who was a premiership player with the Sydney Swans in 2012, had another year to run on his contract with the Suns.

The shock announcement was revealed on Thursday night with the 32-year-old set to move into an assistant coaching role with the Suns academy.

It comes a day after revelations that Gold Coast captain Gary Ablett sought a return to Geelong at the beginning of NAB AFL Trade Period.

"I was hoping to play out my contract with the Suns in 2017, but as many of you would know, I've had ongoing knee issues for a while now and to be honest, I couldn't go on," Malceski said on the Suns website. 

"When reflecting on my year and the direction of the footy club it became clear to me that the time was right to call it a day. 

"I will be forever grateful to the Sydney and Gold Coast football clubs and I wish to thank both clubs, their players, fans, my family, friends and everyone who has shown me unwavering support throughout my playing career.

"My thinking post-footy was always to go into coaching, specifically development, and when the opportunity came up to get the next chapter of my career started with the Suns, I knew the time was right.

"I am really looking forward to helping what I believe is a great young team earn the respect and success it deserves as well as playing a role in developing our players and growing the game in Queensland."

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Malceski joined Gold Coast at the end of the 2014 season, and played 34 matches with the Suns after 176 with the Sydney Swans, including the 2012 premiership where he famously kicked the match-sealing goal against Hawthorn.

Nick Malceski celebrates that goal in the 2012 Grand Final. Picture: AFL Photos

He endured knee troubles throughout his career, and had three reconstructions while with the Swans.

"To play over 200 games and to be a premiership player is a great achievement and in the future Nick will be able to look back on his AFL career with pride," Suns football manager Marcus Ashcroft said. 

"When Nick joined our club from the Sydney Swans we knew we weren’t just bringing in a player.

"We recruited a person with great football knowledge, leadership qualities and a passion to move into coaching when his football career came to an end. 

"With that being the case we are really pleased to be able to offer Nick that opportunity with the Suns."