Alex Cisak has hung up his boots and set up his own academy to help provide more opportunities for young players in his home state of Tasmania.
Cisak grew up in Hobart but left Australia in 2004 at the age of 15 to join English Premier League club Leicester City.
The goalkeeper spent 12 years in the UK, playing for the likes of Accrington Stanley, Oldham Athletic and Leyton Orient, before signing with Sydney FC in 2017.
The 31-year-old left the Sky Blues last year and has now retired as a player, moving back to Tasmania to get into coaching.
“I thought it was the right time in my career to step away,” he told FTBL.
“I have achieved more then I thought, moved to England at 15 and signed for Leicester City. It was everything I dreamt of and more. After player more than 200 games in England and being involved with the Socceroos, it’s been unreal.
“But for me family comes first. My oldest started kindergarten last year, she’s five and she’s lived in eight different houses. I don’t think its fair for her and my other two children to keep moving around, that’s why I have decided to step away from the game."
Cisak’s academy is called Limitless Football and is based in Glenorchy.
He set it up with former NSL player Garry Upton and is aimed at both boys and girls of all abilities.
“The aim is to improve the development and the coaching Tasmanian players receive,” Cisak said.
“Knowing how important grass roots football is, I thought I could bring my playing experience and knowledge to improve young players.
“I know if it wasn’t for a close friend of mine, who coached me growing up and spent a lot of time developing me, I would have never got the opportunity to play in Europe let alone professionally.
“So I want to give players more opportunities here in Tasmania who otherwise would have missed out.
“With our aim focused on starting in the grassroots, we’re looking to head into primary schools, as that age group is best for player improvement, and making young boys and girls really fall in love with the game.”