Reliving Jedinak's journey to the top as Australian football community pays tribute to Mile's career
From captaining the Socceroos to AFC Asian Cup victory to becoming a Premier League great – tributes have flown in for Mile Jedinak after he called time on his distinguished career.
Having not played since helping Aston Villa gain promotion from the Championship to the Premier League in 2019, Jedinak announced his official retirement via social media on Sunday.
The 35-year-old took to Instagram to thank his family and reveal his desire to start a new chapter.
The former Premier League star and Socceroos icon departs the game as one of the nation’s greatest ever export.
Having been introduced to football by his parents, Jedinak fell in love with the game from an early age.
He fondly remembers playing in the back garden, watching older siblings play and attending Sydney Croatia games in the NSL.
‘’It started from a young age, I had the bug and I never really lost it,’’ he told the Greats with Garby Podcast in May.
‘’It was always something that I loved to do.
‘’I remember getting taken to Edensor Park to watch Sydney United play or Sydney Croatia as it was called when I was younger.
‘’Having that atmosphere and being brought into that environment stuck with me.
‘’And it only grew as I got older.’’
Little did he know, it would be that environment that would have such a profound impact on his development.
After progressing through the youth ranks, Jedinak went on to make 84 appearances and scored 12 goals for the former NSL powerhouse.
His impressive appearances in the midfield earned a trial with Central Coast Mariners and the rest is history.
Jedinak made his debut for the Mariners in 2006 and helped them to claim the Premiers’ Plate in 2008.
It wasn’t long before his Hyundai A-League form caught the eye of European suitors and a move to Turkey with Genclerbirligi was secured.
He made 66 appearances in Turkey, including a loan spell with Antalyaspor before commencing a legendary career at Crystal Pace in the Premier League.
And it was in England where his impact would truly be felt.
Jedinak went on to make 165 appearances for Palace from 2011 to 2016, helping them secure promotion back to the top flight and captaining the club for four years.
His former side paid homage to his career by calling him ‘’a leader of men and a club legend’’.
Following a hugely successful career with the Eagles, Jedinak moved to Aston Villa where he made 70 appearances for the club and assisted with another promotion campaign.
He also amassed 79 appearances for the Socceroos after his national team debut in 2008, featured at three World Cup tournaments and led the nation to Asian Cup glory in 2015.
Jedinak scored 20 goals over a distinguished 10-year period for the Green and Gold and he will forever be remembered for his penalty taking technique.
The combative midfielder finished his career with an unblemished record from the penalty spot for club and country.
Individually, he was acknowledged by the Mariners, Professional Footballers Australia (PFA), Crystal Palace, FFA, and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) at various stages for his outstanding contributions on the pitch.
Scroll down to see how the Australian football community paid tribute to Mile Jedinak!