Agostino reflects on his glittering career

Adelaide United's Paul Agostino admits he's never had to buy a ticket for a football game. And apart from being a professional sportsmen, some school-holiday concreting with his dad has been his only other job.

Adelaide United's Paul Agostino admits he's never had to buy a ticket for a football game. And apart from being a professional sportsmen, some school-holiday concreting with his dad has been his only other job.

Retirement is going to open up a raft of new experiences for the 33-year-old and he can't wait.

But before he hangs up the boots forever to tackle a different life, the former 1860 Munich player wants to finish his career on a positive note.

Since announcing the 2008-09 season would be his last, things have improved dramatically for the injury-prone veteran.

Last October and November he was on the sidelines with a calf tear but recovered and strung some games together in the National Youth League. The time with Joe Mullen's squad proved valuable as it provided him with once last chance to play senior football.

While pleased to be fit and among his coach's thoughts, Agostino said he was still wanting more from his time at the club.

"Towards the end of my career and the end of the season, I wanted to be involved as much as I could and so far it has been good but obviously I'd like to get on the goal sheet and get a goal before the end of the season," he said.

"The biggest games of my career are still coming up. I want to have something to hold in my hands (a trophy) at Adelaide United."

Even if the farewell goals don't come, the striker said he had taken some satisfaction in knowing that he'd contributed to the club in other ways.

"I try and make an impact whether it's on the pitch or off the pitch, I just try and give the younger players some advice every day, just try and improve their game as well as concentrating on my own," he said.

"Looking at young players' games and trying to help them along with their careers; I think that is important for a senior player. It's nothing special, just bits and pieces that the boys need to know ... so I think the boys can say Ago has helped them in the last couple of years."

Agostino's retirement could officially begin after the Reds' preliminary final against Queensland Roar at Hindmarsh Stadium on February 21.

But the 'R' word still remains a dirty one for the 184-cm player who is determined to savour every experience left in his football career before looking forward.

"I haven't really been thinking about it to be honest. More so I've just been enjoying every day and relishing every moment and trying to crack as many jokes as I can in the dressing room, get them all in before the season is over," he said with a broad smile on his face.

"I think the older you get the more you appreciate the game. I think that's the natural process, you see things on a different level. When you are just starting out (you think) your career lasts forever, you'll play forever and it'll never be over."

Agostino has donned the green and gold for Australia 20 times and played football in Europe from 1992 until 2007 (this stint including a decade with 1860 Munich).

It makes for a classy resume but Agostino surprisingly values his injury-interrupted couple of seasons at Hindmarsh alongside some of his other glorious achievements.

"I've played in a lot of teams over the years and I have to say it's such a great bunch of lads. That's been my highlight - is playing for two years with this squad," he said.

Perhaps his glowing recollections have to do with his fondness of the Hyundai A-League and what it has done and can do for football in Australia.

"I'm not pumping up the league at all - it has come a long way in a short amount of time. So they can really pat themselves on the back for the great work they've done getting the league up and running," he said.

"It really is here to stay. The kids are getting involved, the soccer code, the football code has really taken off."

Agostino is also confident the Hyundai A-League will help to develop even stronger Socceroos teams.

"We will be churning them (players) out. We've got a youth league set up so that means yes we can go and get our foreign players but at the same time we're going to have good youngsters coming through because the youngsters have somewhere to go," he said.

"I really do see a bright future for soccer in Australia."

Regardless of where his future takes him, it seems the South Australian will be keen onlooker of the domestic competition for years to come.

"I do watch most games on TV but certainly now that I'll be finishing at the end of the season I'll be getting myself out there and you know what, I'll go out and buy myself a ticket."