Jedinak opens up on club playing future & international retirement

Former Socceroos captain Mile Jedinak has opened up on his international retirement and addressed the speculation surrounding his playing career in the Hyundai A-League.

Jedinak – who played 79 games for the Socceroos over 10 years – caught up with Daniel Garb on the first edition of the former Fox Sports journalists’ new podcast called, 'Greats with Garby'.

Jedinak finished playing for Aston Villa at the conclusion of the 2018/19 season after they were promoted from the Championship to the Premier League via the playoffs.

Since then, the 35-year-old has been coaching at Villa’s academy and he said he took up the role with the intention of continuing his playing career.

‘’Villa have been fortunate enough that they've been willing to help me out in terms of trying to get some qualifications, with one eye still on playing,’’ he told Greats with Garby.

‘’I've been able to learn a lot of stuff in the last few months and It's been really, really enjoyable.

‘’I've got to meet some really good people and work with some talented kids and hopefully, I've been able to influence them in a little way.’’

Click here to listen to the full 'Greats with Garby' Podcast with Mile Jedinak.

Jedinak lifts the trophy with John Terry after winning the Championship Play-Off Final

However, he admitted that he does not know if his original plan to keep playing will come to fruition or if he instead, will remain a coach.

‘’If there's an opportunity there, I still do have a desire to play," he said.

‘’The circumstances are what they are.

‘’If it doesn't happen, then so be it, but I'm trying to maintain a level of fitness for an opportunity.

‘’If there isn't an opportunity, then I can accept that too.’’

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The Camperdown-born star also recognised the possibility of returning to the Hyundai A-League and addressed the rumours surrounding expansion club Macarthur FC’s approach.

‘’It's obviously been known that there's been speculation out there and there has been a conversation,’’ he revealed.

‘’I wouldn't say there have been many conversations and it was a while ago, so I just have to wait and see.

‘’You don’t ever rule anything out.

‘’Is it likely to happen? I don't really know.

‘’It's hard to say really with the way things are at the moment.’’

The former Crystal Palace and Villa defensive midfielder will be 36 when Macarthur enter the competition next season.

Jedinak on his time at the Mariners

Jedinak reflects on his Socceroos retirement

Jedinak made 79 appearances for the Green and Gold between 2008 and 2018, scoring 20 goals before retiring from internationals.

He was handed the captain's armband in 2014 and lead the country through two FIFA World Cup campaigns, in Brazil and Russia.

He retired following the Socceroos elimination from the group stages of the tournament in Russia and he acknowledged that the decision was not easy, but insisted that he did not want to be selfish in his choice.

‘’I gave myself some time to think about it after the tournament and I went to another camp,’’ he reflected.

‘’It was not an easy decision.

‘’I mean, you know, you've still probably got something to give but realistically, you know it's time for other people to step up and it's time for the group to grow.

‘’I don't want to be selfish – I would rather just sort of get on with it and allow the group to get on with it as well."

Jedinak on what it means to play for the Socceroos

Jedinak also captained the Socceroos in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup victory on home soil and he remembers the dramatic extra-time win over South Korea in the final with fondness, admitting he still gets ‘’tingles’’ thinking about it five years on.

‘’I had a tough time with my ankle and I didn't play in a few games, even just getting through the last half an hour of the final I was playing on one leg basically," he said.

“It’s all for the cause and I did pay for it when I got back to my club because I had to have rehab and I ended up missing quite a few weeks.

‘’Would I have changed it? No.

‘’It was memories that will last a lifetime with a special group of guys and ultimately, doing it in our own backyard, in my backyard in Sydney was special.

‘’Also having about 80 odd (thousand) people there and being able to cherish that with them are memories that will last forever.’’

Australia Socceroos Asian Cup 2015 trophy Jedinak
Jedinak lifts the AFC Asian Cup Trophy in 2015
Highlights: Socceroos v Honduras as Jedinak scores treble