Asian Cup-winning Socceroos captain Mile Jedinak has called time on his decorated playing career, scotching hopes of a final hurrah in the A-League.
The 35-year-old former Central Coast Mariners, Crystal Palace and Aston Villa midfielder has not played since May 2019 and made his retirement official on social media on Sunday.
Jedinak thanked his family for the role they have played during his career and told his sons to “dream big and never stop chasing your dreams”.
“I was a young boy from Western Sydney with a dream to play professional football,” he posted on Instagram.
“My journey to reach that goal was full of so many experiences, challenges and memories that will always be cherished.
“I want to thank all the clubs I represented or allowing me the opportunity to do so … It is now time for a new chapter.”
Jedinak was released by Villa at the end of the 2018-19 campaign and was linked with a return to the A-League with incoming expansion team Macarthur FC.
He said as recently as May that he still had a “desire to play”.
Jedinak has been working as a coach at Villa’s academy, and coaching may be where his future now lies.
He made 79 appearances for Australia after his national team debut in 2008, featuring at three World Cup tournaments – two of them as captain – and scored 20 goals before he ended his international career in October 2018.
His greatest triumph came as Socceroos skipper for their historic Asian Cup triumph on home soil under coach Ange Postecoglou five years ago.
Professional Footballers Australia president Alex Wilkinson paid tribute to Jedinak.
“Mile is an iconic figure in Australian football, having demonstrated consummate leadership during a period of great progress for the game,” Wilkinson said of his former Mariners teammate.
“His determination, commitment and passionate displays for the green and gold ensures he will remain one of our most adored and inspiring characters.”
A number of former national teammates including Milos Degenek, Tomi Juric and Robbie Kruse responded to Jedinak’s announcement with congratulations and best wishes.
Jedinak commenced his professional career with Sydney United and Central Coast Mariners before securing an overseas move to Turkish club Genclerbirligi.
He later joined English clubs Crystal Palace and Aston Villa, amassing more than 200 appearances and helping both clubs achieve promotion to the Premier League.