Petkovic says farewell

Retiring Perth Glory goalkeeper Jason Petkovic is thrilled to have been given the opportunity to play in the starting line-up in his final home game for the club against Melbourne this Sunday.

Retiring Perth Glory goalkeeper Jason Petkovic is thrilled to have been given the opportunity to play in the starting line-up in his final home game for the club against Melbourne this Sunday.

After several weeks of speculation, the loyal Petkovic, the club's 2003 and 2004 National Soccer League premiership goalkeeper, confirmed on Friday he'd be hanging up the gloves at the end of this season after being used as a back-up to Tando Velaphi for most of this campaign.

But coach Dave Mitchell has opted to swing Petkovic back into action one more time for his 177th appearance for the club, giving him the opportunity to go out with a last hurrah.

"It means a lot," Petkovic said. "(It's a) sense of closure for me and just a way of saying thanks to all the fans."

"It's always a tough decision. I've been toying with it for a while now but finally decided this week. There was some speculation but I wanted to put a clear message out there."

Petkovic said the Glory's two NSL premierships and 16 appearances for the Socceroos were the highlights of a career which originally started with WA Premier League side Spearwood Dalmatinic.

In 1993-94 he moved east to play 155 matches for Adelaide City before returning to Perth in 1999 to help establish the Glory as the powerhouse club of the NSL competition.

But after playing all but one of the Glory's matches in the inaugural Hyundai A-League season, Petkovic suffered a broken leg in 2006 that took 14 months to recover from.

"It's probably been the toughest part of my career," Petkovic said.

"It's been a long road back but I wouldn't have changed it 'cause it's taught me a lot about myself and I came through it in the end."

"There was speculation I wouldn't be able to play again but I proved that wrong and I'm proud of that fact."

Petkovic returned to the side in Round 19 last season in a 1-1 draw with the Mariners and played in the last three matches, but only made three appearances so far in 2008-09 before being replaced by Velaphi, who has cemented the No.1 goalkeeper role.

But Mitchell said Petkovic deserved his spot in the starting line-up for this match on merit alone.

"He's capable of playing in goal," Mitchell declared. "It's not he's a mate of mine or sympathetic reasons, it's because he's good enough to play."

"In the old days, he was probably the best 'keeper in Australia, (so) it's a big decision for him and he's been a great servant of this club and Australian football."

While one Glory premiership hero is retiring, another one has opted to stay, with midfielder Wayne Srhoj committing to the club for another season on Thursday after an impressive second half to the season.