Grant McCann has officially announced his retirement from playing to concentrate on his coaching career.

McCann, who was named as assistant manager to Dave Robertson at the end of May, has had an 18-year playing career, which has included over 500 first team appearances and over 100 goals.

The 35-year-old began his playing career with West Ham United and has represented Livingston, Notts County, Cheltenham Town, Barnsley, Scunthorpe United and most recently Linfield.

During his five-year playing stint at the ABAX Stadium, he made close to 200 appearances in all competitions, scoring 35 goals.

One of his best moments in a Posh shirt came in the play-off final at Old Trafford against Huddersfield Town in 2011, when his superb free-kick sealed a 3-0 win and promotion to the Championship. He scored in both semi-finals of the play-offs against Milton Keynes Dons.

McCann is now fully focussed on his coaching and is looking forward to the next stage of his career. 'I have had so many highs during my playing career and I look back with great pride. I left Northern Ireland at the age of 16 to fulfil my dream of making it as a professsional footballer and to play in the Premier League and every professional league in England has been something that I have really enjoyed.

'I have been promoted three times and each time has been an unbelievable feeling. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those clubs that I have represented and the fans for the support that I have received during my career.

'I have been fortunate to represent my country, Northern Ireland, 39 times and have played against some of the best players in the world.

'Now I want to concentrate on helping the young lads at Peterborough flourish and pass on my knowledge to them. I can concentrate on being the best coach I can possibly be for the football club that I love,' McCann said.

Chairman and owner Darragh MacAnthony was full of praise for the impact McCann has made on the football club: 'Grant has been one of the best signings made in the nine years I’ve had the football club. Since day one he has been a model pro on and off the pitch and you couldn’t put a price on the experience he has brought to our dressing room, not to mention his contribution to some of our best moments promotion-wise, Wembley-cup win wise or playing in the Championship against all odds.

'I look forward to helping him grow his coaching career which will only emulate if not surpass his playing career.'

Posh Director of Football Barry Fry also paid tribute to McCann for his five-year spell as a player at the football club: 'Grant has been a magnificent servant to this football club and a tremendous signing. He has been very professional in everything he has done, both on and off the field.

'He has been a key part of the community and his contribution on the field has been second to none - you only have to cast your mind back to the 2011 play-off campaign and how instrumental he was in getting the club promoted,' Fry said.