SCOTT MCDONALD announced his retirement from the game four months ago – but keeps getting asked to pull his boots back on again.
The 35-year-old former Celtic, Motherwell and Middlesbrough striker has been tempted.
Nothing, however, has really made him want to make a dramatic U-turn.
Falkirk boss Ray McKinnon wanted him, and the Australian striker did recently link up with former Hoops team-mate Gary Caldwell at Partick Thistle.
After a few days’ training, McDonald decided he didn’t want to go back to the Scottish Championship after enduring a frustrating period there last season with Dundee United.
So he doesn’t expect to be back in full-time football in 2019, and is comfortable with his decision to call time on a glittering career to concentrate on his media work and family.
McDonald told The Sunday Post: “Unless something really attractive comes out of the blue, I don’t see me being back in full-time football.
“I’m absolutely fine with that because it’s not like I’ve been looking to get back in. It’s more that managers have approached me.
“In the past couple of months I’ve had offers to consider, but there’s been nothing to really excite and make me go, ‘Wow!’.
“To be honest, my spell at Dundee United last season wasn’t enjoyable for so many different reasons.
“Playing in the Championship just wasn’t doing it for me, and I also didn’t enjoy the travelling to and from work.
“I don’t want to put myself back in that kind of situation again. It wouldn’t be fair to me, my family or the particular football club.
“I guess I’m at peace with my decision to retire. I still love the game – but I’ve lost the love of playing.
“I’m absolutely comfortable with that because I’ve had the most enjoyable career, and achieved so many wonderful things.
“I’ve played for brilliant managers, played with great players, played for great football clubs and made some brilliant friends.
“I now have lots of media work going on, and I thoroughly enjoy that side of it because it’s interesting and challenging.
“I hope there is longevity for me there.”
McDonald left Australia almost 20 years ago to chase his dream of being a professional footballer in the UK, and he had one of his most memorable moments as a teenager at Southampton.
He smiled: “I came on as a sub for my debut against Aston Villa at home.
“It was special, but what made it even greater was the fact Matt Le Tissier was also coming on at the same time for Southampton.
“I suppose, back at that moment, you think that you’ve arrived. But it was only the start of the hard work.
“It was great to be rewarded with a game in the best league in the world just a couple of years after leaving my childhood behind in Australia, and taking the gamble to move to the UK.
“I then had setbacks to cope with, and ended up at Motherwell.
“That worked out a great move for me and, of course, everyone still talks about Helicopter Sunday in 2005 when I scored two goals to beat Celtic in 2005, which allowed Rangers to win the league.
“Yes, it pains me to think about it as I’m a Celtic supporter. But it also elevated my career and gave me a platform to build from.
“Within a while, Rangers and Celtic both wanted to sign me and I ended up at Parkhead. It was an amazing move.
“I had so many highs during my two-and-a-half years at Parkhead.
“I scored against AC Milan in the Champions League, scored the winner in an Old Firm game at Ibrox and also beat Rangers in a League Cup Final.
“There was also the League title win in 2008 on the last day of the season when we defeated Dundee United at Tannadice.
“That was so special, and also so poignant because of the circumstances and the unfortunate passing of Tommy Burns the week before.
“There were just so many things, and over the piece, I think I proved to be good value for Celtic.
“They signed me for around £600,000, and sold me to Middlesbrough for almost six times that amount.”
In his media work, McDonald takes in a Scottish Premiership game every weekend and has enjoyed the first half of the season.
He said: “It’s been great for the game to have so many teams bunched at the top. It’s been entertaining and full of drama.
“I think it’s great when a title race goes to the wire, as it was for us in 2008.
“It makes it all the more special, and I think the fans get more out of it that way, rather than it being over with weeks and weeks of the season to go.”