Dundee captain James McPake has called time on his playing career following a long comeback from injury.
The 33-year-old will now take up a role in the Dundee FC Academy as Head of Professional Programme.
McPake hasn’t played since the Dundee derby on January 2 2016.
The commanding defender was involved in a 50-50 challenge with John Rankin early in the game, suffering severe knee damage.
Since then, he’s had several operations and suffered a string of setbacks but kept working hard to save his career.
Issuing a statement, McPake thanked the club and fans for sticking with him.
— Dundee Football Club (@DundeeFC) January 30, 2018
He said: “I thank the club greatly for the countless support they’ve given me since joining in 2014. Since the injury and in the two years afterwards they have exhausted all possible options to try and get me back on the pitch, which was the ultimate aim.
“It hasn’t worked out that way but I now have a healthy knee that will allow me to have a normal active life and be involved and hands on in a coaching sense.”
McPake now hopes to “repay” club bosses in his new role.
He continued: “This now opens up a new opportunity for me and hopefully the start of a successful coaching career. Again I thank the club for their guidance in helping me through my badges, with only nine months to go of my Pro Licence I feel that this positive side of the injury has given me a good head start.
“I hope I can now repay the club with my experience and pass some of this on to the youngsters and I can’t wait to get started full time with them and Jimmy (Boyle, Head of Youth).”
Paul Hartley brought McPake to Dens Park in 2014. Since then, he made 50 appearances for the Dark Blues, netting four times.