AZ Alkmaar goalkeeper Joey Didulica has decided to hang up his gloves at the age of 33 after being beset by injuries, explaining: "I do not want to get another knock on the head."
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AZ Alkmaar goalkeeper Joey Didulica has decided to hang up his gloves at the age of 33, after being beset by head and neck problems in recent seasons.
The Australian-born Didulica, who was capped four times by Croatia, received a hard blow from the ball in an October 2006 match against PSV Eindhoven, and did not play again until 2008. In April 2009, he received a similar injury against AFC Ajax, prompting surgery on his head and neck.
"I do not want to get another knock on the head," Didulica, who turns 34 on Friday, explained. "I thank AZ for the understanding and support they have always shown me; I can say nothing but good things about the club. I have had great times here, with the 2009 championship the highlight. It was a tough decision to quit, but I am looking forward to the next chapter in my life."
Discovered while playing in Australia with Melbourne Knights FC, Didulica came to Ajax in 1999, moving on to FK Austria Wien in 2003 and then joining AZ in 2006. He last played for the club in a 2-1 UEFA Europa League group stage victory against FC Sheriff on 16 September 2010, though he was listed in the AZ squad for this season's competition.
AZ take on Austria Wien in their next UEFA Europa League Group G game on 20 October.