|Full name James McDonald|
Name James McDonald
Career end 2012
Career start 1997
Weight 75 kg
Height/Weight 180 cm / 75 kg
Height 1.8 m
|Date of birth (1976-10-05) 5 October 1976 (age 39)|
Original team(s) North Ballarat Rebels / Old Xaverians
Role Australian Rules Footballer
Siblings Anthony McDonald, Alex McDonald
James McDonald (born 5 October 1976) is a former professional Australian rules footballer who played for the Melbourne Football Club and Greater Western Sydney Giants in the Australian Football League (AFL).
Nicknamed "Junior", James is the brother of former AFL players Anthony McDonald and Alex McDonald. He is noted as a hard working in and under midfielder. In addition to this, he is also used as a tagger.
In 1995, McDonald suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome with his VAFA side Old Xaverians. He debuted in the AFL in 1997 with the Melbourne Football Club after being promoted off the Rookie list.
McDonald had one of his most consistent years in 2006, being named on the interchange bench in the All Australian side and the only Demons player to make this list in that year. He laid a league high and record high 143 tackles during season 2006, breaking the previous record held by Tony Liberatore (although Brett Kirk would break McDonald's record the following season), and capped off the season with a win in Melbourne's Best and Fairest.
McDonald also played in the International Rules Series in 2006.
McDonald won the Melbourne best and fairest in 2007 for the second time.
McDonald played his 200th game in a devastating loss to the Western Bulldogs in round 2, 2008. He was part of the Demons' Leadership Group, along with Cameron Bruce, Russell Robertson, Adem Yze and Brad Miller and was named co captain alongside Bruce in the absence of skipper David Neitz. However, after Neitz announced his retirement, no captain has been selected yet. After the 2008 Home & Away Season, James signed a one-year deal to continue playing with Melbourne.
On 11 January 2009, the Herald Sun reported that McDonald would captain the club in 2009. McDonald kicked his 50th goal in the 2009 season.
McDonald signed another one-year extension that would see him to the end of the 2010 season. He also broke the record for the most games by a Rookie Listed player (238). On 20 August, McDonald announced that he would retire at the end of the end of the 2010 season, saying he felt he could have played on for another year, but that the club came first and the club's decision was for him to retire at the end of the season.
McDonald played for his old side, Old Xaverians in the Victorian Amateur Football Association, while also working with Greater Western Sydney's Melbourne-based players in a development role. At the end of 2011, McDonald signed a one-year contract with Greater Western Sydney. During the 2012 season, he was a playing assistant coach for the Giants.