Matt McKay hails maligned former coaches in retirement speech

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It’s an announcement that was perhaps inevitable, but nevertheless affecting, for football fans in Brisbane and around Australia.

Brisbane Roar legend and former Socceroo Matt McKay has announced he will be retiring from competitive football at the end of the current A-League season.

Speaking on Thursday at Suncorp Stadium, McKay made his announcement to a room filled with media, club staff, and teammates – both current and former.

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“I’m incredibly nervous, but I am obviously going to announce my retirement today,” he said.

“It’s really difficult to say, because football has been my life, and will always be my life. Don’t worry about that.

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“I’m still going to be involved at various levels.

“I’m very fortunate to have my sons now growing up that I’ll be able to coach them hopefully and show them a trick or two.”

In a down-to-earth speech, McKay reminisced on his early days at Brisbane Strikers – showing gratitude to former coach John Kosmina for handing him his professional debut against Perth Glory in 2002.

As well as also thanking his family and former team-mates, McKay singled out two coaches – both maligned by some Socceroos fans – for particular praise.

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“When Ange [Postecoglu] came in, he’s changed everything – for me personally, and my family, and obviously for the Brisbane Roar as well,” he said.

“With Ange changing my game, we had a really successful year, I broke into that national team under Holger Osieck, and he gave me great belief.

“Whatever anyone said about Holger, he gave his team confidence, and he gave me confidence.

“If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have been able to move overseas, play my games for the national team… so to him, thank you.

“He qualified us for a World Cup; but also we made the Asian Cup final in 2011, and we were really unlucky not to win that against Japan.”

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Ben Paynter
Loves Brisbane. Loves a pint. Loves a 'Kevin Muscat Bad Tackle' YouTube compilation.