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NZ international Brown to retire from Wellington Phoenix

Official release from Wellington Phoenix

Wellington Phoenix midfielder Tim Brown today stunned New Zealand football followers by announcing he will retire from the game when the Phoenix' Hyundai A-League campaign ends.

Admitting it had been a massive decision that he had been thinking about for a number of weeks, Brown said he was quitting playing to return to his studies.

The opportunity has arisen for him to study for a Masters degree in Management at either the London School of Economics or Cambridge University.

"It was an emotional decision to make, but an exciting one for me," Brown said today.

"The opportunity to continue my studies at either of those places is fantastic.

"It was tough making the decision to leave what has been a dream job but I believe it is the right time for me having just turned 31."

Phoenix and New Zealand national team coach, Ricki Herbert, admitted it was a shock to hear Brown's news but wished him well for the future.

"This (Brown's retirement announcement) came completely out of the blue," Herbert said.

"It is going to be difficult to replace him because he has been an integral part not only in building the Phoenix, but also playing a leading role in a successful World Cup campaign.

"Losing a midfielder with Tim's ability to get forward and score goals is a massive loss to both club and country.

"While we will really miss him he goes with our best wishes and I'm sure he will be as successful in his latest venture as he was in football."

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