Kevin Muscat to announce retirement
Suspended Melbourne Victory captain Kevin Muscat is set to confirm on Wednesday he will end his career after this year’s Asian Champions League (ACL).
It means the 37-year-old’s final A-League match will have been last month’s infamous clash with Melbourne Heart, in which he was sent off for a brutal tackle on Heart’s Adrian Zahra.
The eight-match suspension handed out for that incident, which ended Zahra’s season, also ended any chance Muscat would play again this season, even if Victory reach the grand final.
But the two-time A-League championship skipper has the chance to at least end his career on better terms, as he attempts to guide Victory out of the ACL group stage for the first time in three attempts, with the Asian competition to start on March 1.
Muscat, who has captained Victory from the A-League’s 2005-06 inaugural season, is the only player to have been continuously with the club from the start.
Current strikers Archie Thompson and Danny Allsopp and defender Adrian Leijer were all foundation players with the club, but have spent stints overseas.
Muscat has played 122 A-League matches and won the Victory Medal as the club’s best player three times, including sharing it with Allsopp in both of their championship seasons.
The tough and aggressive, but skilful defender also represented the Socceroos 51 times over 12 years.
Before joining Victory, he spent a decade playing club football overseas, including an English Premier League stint with Crystal Palace, as well as captaining second-tier club Millwall to the 2004 FA Cup final, although he missed that match with injury.
Muscat, who has already been sharing his playing duties with a Victory assistant coaching role, is expected to become a fulltime assistant next season.© AAP 2013
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