Ruben Zadkovich has expressed his desire to transition into coaching after a debilitating knee injury forced him into an early retirement.
The former Perth Glory and Newcastle Jets midfielder announced he was pulling the pin on his playing career over the weekend, after 151 Hyundai A-League games.
The 29-year-old says he has been planning for life after football for a while now and has set his sights on coaching.
“I have been working with the youth team at Glory in an assistant’s role,” Zadkovich told the Newcastle Herald.
“I’m about to start my B Licence and am doing certificates in sports coding and match analysis.
“I am already thinking about how I can stay in the game, where I can develop myself further and where I can give back to the sport.
“I want to coach at the highest level.”
Zadkovich last played in the A-League in March, 2015 before going in for what was supposed to be minor surgery to repair damaged cartilage in his left knee.
But the issue never improved, forcing him to call it quits.
“We tried everything to get it right,” Zadkovich said.
“It has been hard, but that is the way it is sometimes in football.
“I have mates like Jacob Timpano who retired at age 20 because of injury.”
Zadkovich revealed he is in talks with Perth about a coaching role at the club but hasn’t ruled out a return to the Hunter should an opportunity arise.