Melbourne defender Michael Hibberd will hang up the boots at the end of his side's premiership run, ending a 13-year career in the AFL.

On Sunday Hibberd informed his teammates and coaches of his decision to retire, ending a near-200-game career.

“I have really loved my time at the club. I love the boys and I feel like I could play until I am 40, but I know that's not the reality,” Hibberd said, via Melbourne Media. 

“The body gets a bit slower as you get older, and although I like to think that I have a little bit left in me, I feel like going out with a little left in the tank is the right way to go about it, and that's a decision I am really comfortable with.

“It has been one hell of a ride and I am so thankful to have done it with this playing group.”

Hibberd was recruited to Essendon out of Frankston's VFL system through the 2011 pre-season draft after winning the Fothergill-Round-Mitchell Medal as the best young player in the state league competition.

He would play nine games in his first in the red and black - his first of five seasons with Essendon. He would be suspended for the 2016 campaign due to the club's supplements saga.

Later that year he would join Melbourne and has played 113 games and counting in the red and blue since, including a role in the Demons' drought-breaking premiership win in 2021.

Hibberd and Melbourne have another chance at success this September as they continue their finals run on Friday against Carlton at the MCG in a semi-final.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 07: Michael Hibberd of the Demons marks during a Melbourne Demons AFL pre-season training session at Gosch's Paddock on November 7, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Hibberd commended his coach, Simon Goodwin, who worked with the defender during their time at Essendon before crossing over to the Demons.

“Goody has been part of my journey since my first year in the AFL system and it's been fun times along the way,” Hibberd said.

“There's been some hard times as well, but…you've got the best out of me from the get-go.

“We have got a good friendship and there's been some hard coaching done at times, but it's only made me a better person and a better player.

“I appreciate Goody backing me in over the years and the opportunities that he has given me. This club has changed my life and it's been the best decision I've ever made to come here.”

Hibberd is in line to play in Friday's semi-final, and should he make the grand final with Melbourne, will be a chance to play his 200th career game.