Valkanis to retire

Former Adelaide United captain Michael Valkanis has announced he'll retire at the end of the season.

Former Adelaide United captain Michael Valkanis has announced he'll retire at the end of the season.

Valkanis, who missed most of the Reds' 2007-08 campaign with a knee injury, has been given limited opportunities during his comeback, having played just a handful of Hyundai A-League and Asian Champions League games this year.

At one stage the frustrated defender had considered moving elsewhere but his passion for the South Australian club played a part in his final decision.

"You start to get some calls and you are thinking about moving on because you want to play," he said.

"But the thought of leaving this club, that I've played at since the first day of its existence, and having given everything for the Reds over the years ... I just wouldn't be able to do it. I couldn't imagine myself coming to Hindmarsh and playing Adelaide United."

The 34-year-old, who has played 17 years of professional football both in Australia and Greece, won't be lost to the Hyundai A-League however with United offering him a full-time coaching position this year.

Valkanis believes he'll make a better coach than player and is looking forward to the next step in his football journey.

"I've always wanted to be a coach and this is a fantastic opportunity and I wasn't going to give that away just to play one year (elsewhere)."

Coach Aurelio Vidmar said the former Socceroo had given everything for the club.

"I don't think I've met too many players with that much enthusiasm and that much passion for everything he did," he said.

Adelaide United ceo Sam Ciccarello said Valkanis was a 'true champion' of the game and was glad the former South Melbourne player could be a part of the coaching panel next year.

"We want to hold onto great people and Michael has got the attributes to contribute in a meaningful and substantial way to the Adelaide United Football Club and its future successes," he said.

Meanwhile the Reds are set to make their January 9 home fixture against the Newcastle Jets a testimonial game for Valkanis.

"It will be the first as I understand, the first formal testimonial match for any A-League player so we are delighted we will be able to recognise and thank Michael and certainly it would great opportunity for the fans to turn up," Ciccarello said.