Michael Dobson has played his last game for Salford

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Experienced half-back Michael Dobson will leave Salford at the end of the season to return to Australia with his family.

The 31-year-old has officially played his last game for the Red Devils after it was confirmed he requires an operation on his thumb.

Dobson picked up the injury in the last game against Wigan, a defeat that makes their hopes of a top-four finish unlikely.

Since joining the club from Newcastle Knights in 2015, the playmaker has helped Salford survive relegation and has been a big part in their successful 2017 campaign.

Speaking to the Red Devils website, Dobson said: “I’ve been thinking about it for the last year and I’ve got a young family and it’s time to take the family home.

“I’ve been here for ten seasons now and we’re just ready to go back, settle down and take a step back from full-time rugby league and move onto the next phase.

“I’m going to play a little bit semi-professionally back in Australia and working within another club trying to get my foot in the door within the realm of coaching and development.

“I’ve loved it over here I’ve been here for ten years and, I’ll be honest, I never thought I’d be here this long but that’s probably why we’ve loved it so much.

“Obviously, I’ve loved the Salford Red Devils. We’ve had a hard three years but a good three years they’re a great bunch of lads and coaching staff here and the people who are involved with the club are great have been great, so it was a tough decision.

“Marwan’s ambition alongside the quality of players at the club was the reason I signed and since Ian Watson has come in everything’s really clicked and it’s made it hard to leave because of how close-knit we’ve become but, of course, family has to come first.”

Salford head coach Ian Watson said: “Myself and Dobbo sat down in pre-season together to discuss the possibility of this being his last season due to him having a lovely young family, his wife Sally and two young boys, and he felt the time was right to take them back home.

“While we hoped Dobbo may change his mind his decision to take his family home is the right one for him but as a person, and a player, he will be greatly missed by both the coaching staff and the playing group here at Salford Red Devils.”

Club owner Dr Marwan Koukash added: “Everyone would like to thank Michael Dobson for his commitment and effort to the Red Devils over the past three seasons. It has been fantastic to have someone as professional and talented as Michael in our side.”