MELBOURNE Victory fullback Matthew Kemp has decided to retire from A-League football immediately and will now return to Adelaide with his family, he revealed today.
Kemp joined Victory from Adelaide United in April 2007 and went on to make 79 appearances for the side, including the 2008/9 Premiership/Championship double campaign and also a Socceroos cap against Kuwait during the 2010 Asian Cup qualifiers.
But after his final game against Greek giants Olympiacos, Kemp has decided to hang up his boots professionally, but possibly left the door open for state league football.
“You make a lot of sacrifices to be a professional footballer, and there comes a time when you have to look at the next stage of your life," he said today.
“I’ve had a great time in Melbourne, winning the double in 2008/09 was a highlight and I played for the Socceroos too, so it was a great time in my career. I’d like to thank the club for those opportunities and wish them all the best in the future.”
Kemp stressed that injuries weren’t a factor in his decision.
He added: “I could have continued playing, but my decision was more based on the future.
"I felt it was time to look ahead, re-train in areas that will provide future professional opportunities and most importantly, give me a chance to spend more time with my family."
Victory Managing Director Richard Wilson praised Kemp's achievements at the club.
“Matthew made a significant contribution to our football club and was a key part of our success from 2008 to 2010," he said.
“We thank Kempy for what he has brought to our club and wish him and his family all the very best for the next phase of their lives.”