Ryan Giles has called an early end to his career at Murray United.
The centre back and inaugural club captain has decided to part ways with the Border outfit with eight games remaining in the season.
Giles was squeezed out of the starting side with the addition of former Socceroo Jade North in the mid-season transfer window.
Murray coach Elliot Jones admitted it was tough to lose Giles, but understands his decision.
"We would have loved Gilesy to stay on and be a squad player, but with the increasing work and family commitments, he thought now was the best time to step away," Jones said.
"We are disappointed to lose Ryan towards the end of the season and I wanted to make a bit more of his contribution to Murray.
"He's very unassuming and didn't want any fanfare or to be gifted any games or anything like that.
"He didn't want to stop anyone else's progression or any of the younger guys coming through.
"He doesn't like the spotlight or anything, which was probably why he was such a great player - because he had such a level head for such a long time.
"In terms of professionalism and the way he prepared and got himself right to play, I don't think we'll see another player as good as that."
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Jones labelled Giles, along with Albury United star Cade Webb, the "most damaging player he's seen" in the AWFA competition during his decorated 311-game career with Albury Hotspurs.
"He was incredible, playing in a midfield role and later on moving into defence," Jones said.
"In a lot of ways it's a bit of a shame Murray came along so late in Gilesy's career.
"As a 17 or 18-year-old kid, teams were looking at Gilesy and had this been around I can honestly say he would have gone on with his football.
"He's a six foot two, six foot three guy that could just run all day, was really mobile and had all the tools.
"He was certainly one of the best players I've seen around here and was able to adapt and change his game as it went on."
Murray will look to bring an end to a tough month of results with victory against Northcote City at La Trobe on Saturday.
The Border side needs to pull back a nine-point deficit to finish inside the top-six so it can play in NPL 2 next season.
"Manningham (fifth) and GV Suns (sixth) play each other this week, so if we can beat Northcote we could effectively be back to six points behind straight away," Jones added.
Archie Thompson is the only absentee from an otherwise full strength squad.
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