Soccer-Former Australia captain Milligan to hang up boots, move into coaching

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MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Former Australia captain Mark Milligan will retire at the end of the A-League season and move into coaching at Macarthur FC, the midfielder said on Wednesday.

A member of Australia's squads at the last four World Cups, Milligan will join Ante Milicic's staff as an assistant next season, the Sydney club said.

"I have been so fortunate to have the career I've had," Milligan, 35, said in a statement.

"So many people gave up so much for me to achieve my dreams of a being a professional footballer, none more so than my family.

"I have decided that now is the time for me to not only give back to them, but to the game that has given me so much."

The well-travelled defensive midfielder retired from international football at the end of 2019 and returned home to Australia last year to captain expansion side Macarthur in its inaugural season.

Milligan has played in all but one of Macarthur's games this season and scored three times, including a rocket from outside the box on Monday which helped the Bulls beat Western Sydney Wanderers 2-1 and all but secure a place in the playoffs.

"As a coach you want to attract quality and experienced leaders to your club. Mark's faith and belief in the vision we have for this club is a testament to his character," said Milicic.

Macarthur are fourth in the league ahead of their final regular season match against Wellington Phoenix on Friday.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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