MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 24: Adam Cooney of the Bombers runs with the ball during the round 18 AFL match between the Essendon Bombers and the Brisbane Lions at Etihad Stadium on July 24, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

CONFIRMED: Adam Cooney announces retirement

Essendon veteran Adam Cooney has announced his retirement from AFL football.

The 30-year-old will play his 250th and final match this weekend against his former club, the Western Bulldogs, this weeekend.

“I feel very fortunate to have been able to play the game I love at the highest level, and I’ve made plenty of great mates along the way,” Cooney said.

“After many tough pre-seasons, gruelling training sessions, a few injuries and plenty of wonderful memories, I’m looking forward to the next chapter of my life.

“I’d like to thank my incredible wife, Haylea, and my kids Ash, Jax and Evie, for their enduring support over the years.”

Cooney played 219 games with the Western Bulldogs before moving to Essendon at the end of the 2014 season.

In 2008 he won the Brownlow Medal and was selected in the All-Australia team. He featured in three preliminary finals for the Bulldogs.

The former No.1 draft pick said he rediscovered his love for the game when he joined Essendon, after 11 seasons at the Bulldogs.

“When I left the Bulldogs I was looking for a change in my career and an opportunity to develop in a new environment, Cooney said.

“The Essendon Football Club has given me that with first-class facilities, a great culture of leadership and great team mates who I have continued to learn a lot from.

“It seems a fitting tribute to be able to play against the Dogs this week to celebrate not only my 250 game milestone but also celebrate the career I have enjoyed at both Clubs.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to also say thank you to the fans from both Clubs who have showed me enormous support throughout my career.”