He was meant to captain Macarthur FC in the upcoming 2021/22 A-League Men's season. Instead, injury has forced goalkeeper Adam Federici to hang up the gloves immediately.
The 36-year-old, who was named successor to Mark Milligan as Bulls captain in September, was set for his second campaign at the Bulls, having returned to Australia last year after playing in more than 280 games for various English Premier and Championship League clubs.
But injury has put an end to his decorated professional football journey which has taken him around the world and lasted almost two decades.
Some of his highlights include helping Reading make the semi-finals of the 2010 FA Cup, while he also played a key role in Reading's 1-1 Cup draw with EPL giants Manchester United three years earlier. He featured in 28 matches in the Bulls' inaugural season.
He also racked up 16 national caps for the Socceroos and represented Australia at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
"I have been so fortunate to have the career I've had," Federici said.
"While I would've loved to lead the Bulls this season, my body is in a different position and cannot continue. Through my journey I have played with wonderful coaches, players and clubs and I'm grateful that I got to finish my career on my home turf.
"I am honoured to have been able to represent Australia and my time with the national team will stay fondly in my memories forever.
"For now, my focus is to work on recovery, but I look forward to what the game has in store for me going forward."
Macarthur coach Ante Milicic said the club was thankful that Federici joined them in their inaugural season.
"The fact that we could attract one of the best Australian goalkeepers was a great honour. To have someone of his calibre and experience in our inaugural season was a privilege," he said.
"He was to be our captain this season but unfortunately due to injuries he has decided to retire. Adam has been an outstanding leader in the club, and we thank him for all his efforts.
"He has played a large role in shaping the club's values and culture from the beginning and I am extremely proud of his journey so far with the Bulls.
"He has been a great role model for the younger players in the squad, having shared his experience and knowledge with them. It's a sad day for Bulls fans knowing Adam won't be part of the squad this season, but as a club we will help and support him through his rehab and continue the relationship built to extend in some way in the future."
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