James McDonald (footballer)

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).

James McDonald
McDonald in August 2009
Personal information
Full name James McDonald
Date of birth (1976-10-05) 5 October 1976
Original team(s) North Ballarat Rebels / Old Xaverians
Height 180 cm (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 75 kg (165 lb)
Position(s) Midfielder
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1997–2010 Melbourne 251 (56)
2012 Greater Western Sydney 013 0(4)
Total 264 (60)
International team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
2006 Australia 1 (0)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2012.
2 State and international statistics correct as of 2006.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

AFL career

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.[1]

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.[2]


 G  Goals  B  Behinds  K  Kicks  H  Handballs  D  Disposals  M  Marks  T  Tackles
Season Team No. Games G B K H D M T G B K H D M T
Totals Averages (per game)
1997 Melbourne 54431261238560.
1998 Melbourne 232210121588123952200.
1999 Melbourne 23155111205817826230.
2000 Melbourne 23177613710023746380.
2001 Melbourne 2315331629425658410.
2002 Melbourne 23202417612430059580.
2003 Melbourne 232144230210440106840.
2004 Melbourne 23183421312233576760.
2005 Melbourne 23212519713232977700.
2006 Melbourne 2324673012545551151430.30.312.510.623.14.86.0
2007 Melbourne 232134263226489901310.10.212.510.823.34.36.2
2008 Melbourne 23191319418537983880.
2009 Melbourne 23182217717134883870.
2010 Melbourne 231651182178360491190.30.111.411.
2012 Greater Western Sydney 3813431009719731670.
Career 264 60 70 2636 2044 4680 956 1051 0.2 0.3 10.0 7.7 17.7 3.6 4.0


  1. Clark, Jay (20 August 2010). "Club before James McDonald's career". Herald Sun. Retrieved 20 August 2010.
  2. Sheahan, Mike (14 September 2011). "Ex-Melbourne skipper James McDonald joins Tom Scully at Greater Western Sydney". Herald Sun. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
  3. James McDonald's Player Profile at AFL Tables
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