Departing Sydney FC defender Michael Zullo says he felt like a drain on the club’s resources after battling a chronic calf injury over the past two years.
Zullo’s exit from the Sky Blues was made official on Monday, with his last appearance coming in the opening match of the 2020/21 A-League Men campaign.
The 33-year-old didn’t mention the word retirement in his farewell address, but says he is likely to move back to Brisbane to be closer to family.
Zullo is one of Sydney’s most decorated players after winning three Championships and Premierships during his six-year stint at the club.
But his ongoing calf issues robbed him of the chance to go out on his own terms.
“Everyone here has seen what I’ve been through over the last couple of years and they know that I’ve done absolutely everything I can to get fit again,” Zullo said.
“Unfortunately it just hasn’t happened.
“The club have been amazing in giving me all the support I’ve needed but I’ve felt that I’ve been draining resources without being able to give back and contribute to the season.
“I’m a little bit disappointed that I haven’t been able to leave the club in the right way, but at the same time I’m very happy about the good times we’ve had over the last six years and it’s been a life changing period for me.”
Zullo played 110 matches for the Sky Blues including 85 ALM matches, 15 FFA Cup games,and 10 AFC Champions League appearances.
Sydney finished a disappointing eighth this season, and out-of-contract coach Steve Corica is hopeful of earning a new deal to lead the rebuild.