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Mariners veteran Montgomery retires

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 12/05/2017

Central Coast captain Nick Montgomery has announced his decision to end his 18-year professional soccer playing career, although he will not hang up his boots entirely.

Englishman Montgomery, who joined the Central Coast in 2012, played 116 A-League games and represented the Mariners in the Asian Champions League.

"It's not been the easiest decision in the world but I think it's the right decision and right time at this stage in my career," Montgomery said at the Mariners Medal Dinner on Friday night.

The 35-year-old confirmed on Friday that he has accepted a new role at the Mariners as their Head of Football & Elite Performance.

"I had a few conversations with (Mariners coach) Paul Okon, the coaching staff, the CEO & the owner about this new role, which most clubs in the A-League have," Montgomery said.

"Most of the clubs in the A-League have someone heading up football, working between the first team and the CEO to really push this club forward to ensure we compete with all the other clubs in the league.

"Despite not having the spending power of the other clubs, I'm confident that we can attract the right players so that we can be challenging for the top six every season."

Montgomery, who won the A-League championship with the Mariners in 2013, will remain active after agreeing to a guest playing stint with PS4 NPL NSW Club Wollongong Wolves FC.

"I look back on my career with fond memories having played at the highest level, but for me it's good that I can carry on playing semi-pro for a while - this is a decision where I've put the family first, a decision that is perfect for our long term future here on the Central Coast, with the Mariners," Montgomery, who also thanked the Mariners fans for their support during the past five years, said.

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