Sydney FC defender and former Socceroo Hayden Foxe has announced his retirement from professional football.
Foxe, who joined Sydney FC midway through the 2009/10 Hyundai A-League season and went on to score a penalty in the Sky Blues Grand Final win over the Melbourne Victory that season, informed his teammates at training yesterday.
The 33-year-old played 26 games for Sydney FC, including 16 in season 2010/11. His decision is effective immediately.
Throughout his stellar career, Foxe played at the highest level in Japan (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Holland (Ajax), Belgium (Mechelen) and England (West Ham, Portsmouth and Leeds) and represented the Socceroos on 15 occasions, including the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games.
"Everyone has had an impact in some way on my career from people behind the scenes to coaches and of course the players. I want to thank them for that," Foxe said.
"It has been a rollercoaster ride. The highs have been really high while the lows were low but I wouldn't change anything.
"I have made a lot of great friends in my time in football and I will have those forever.
"I will enjoy some time away from the game in the short term but I have aspirations of being a professional coach and that is what I will pursue."
Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka said Foxe will be sorely missed.
"Hayden is a true professional, a great leader and an experienced player that helps the team every time he is at training, in a game and even in personal situations. I will miss him," Lavicka said.
"He played a very important role for us last season and again in the centre of defence this year.
"He has had a great playing career and I know from being his friend and coach that he will do well when he becomes a coach.
"He has a great knowledge of the game and is a real leader. I wish him all the best."