Middleby moves on

North Queensland veteran Robbie Middleby will bring his playing career to a close this weekend against Gold Coast United.

North Queensland veteran Robbie Middleby will bring his playing career to a close this weekend against Gold Coast United.

Middleby, 34, has decided to hang up his boots after a stellar career and will take up a role as the Fury's football operations manager from next season.

The versatile defender said that he had been considering retirement for some time and with an opportunity to further his off-field career, is ready to take the step.

"I had it in my mind for a long time, but the sort of person I am, I wanted to just fade out - go out in the distance, but I'm been fortunate in the last six months to talk with the club about a new role as Football Operations for the club and I feel very privileged and that-s the role I-m going into," he said.

"I'd heard different things (from present and former teammates) saying that I should keep playing and that sort of thing but this opportunity to stay involved in football and with this club is too good an opportunity to turn down."

Middleby didn't want to make a big fuss about his 112th and final Hyundai A-League match, but said he wanted to honour those who had helped him through his career.

"I was talking to Robbie Fowler during the week and he mentioned to me - because I didn't want to say anything about retiring; just fade away but especially for my kids - about for the family and it's true, I want my kids to know it's my last game as well and send me off hopefully," he said,

Middleby, who represented Australia five times, said he wanted to go out against the Gold Coast as a winner.

"I go out every game to win and I hate losing," he said. "We've got a home game and we've got a team that's fighting for the title this year so it'd be a great way to go out."

His senior career began with Wollongong and included stints in Auckland, Newcastle Carlton and Sydney as well as with German side KFC Uerdingen.