Newcastle Jets captain Nigel Boogaard has retired from professional football after 275 A-League appearances.
Newcastle Jets skipper Nigel Boogaard has retired from professional football after 275 A-League appearances.
The Jets’ 2-1 upset victory over Premier’s Plate winners Melbourne Victory was the perfect way for Boogaard to end a 16-year A-League career.
“When the season started, I had in my mind that this would probably be it,” the 34-year-old defender said.
“It gave me the freedom enjoy it a little bit more and relive a little bit of the pressure off myself.
“Taking the time to reflect on my career, I’ve been blessed, I’ve been able to play for 16 years.”
A Newcastle product, Boogaard made his A-League debut as a 19-year-old for the Central Coast Mariners in February 2006.
“I spent five years there and had to learn quickly how to approach things and where my place was,” Boogaard said.
“It was a very old school mentality. Being brought up in that era has brought me a lot of tools to help me along the way.”
After 55 appearances for the Mariners, Boogaard moved to Adelaide United in 2010 and went on to make 98 appearances for the Reds, where he won an FFA Cup.
“In Adelaide, I consumed myself with football and felt like they were some of my best years as a player,” Boogaard said.
He then returned home to Newcastle, where he made 122 appearances, 121 as captain.
“I never thought I’d have the chance to play for this club, let alone captain it,” Boogaard said.
“I’ve made some friends for life and have some wonderful memories. The highlight would have to be the (2018) grand final.
“My teammates will be able to comment on whether I was a good captain or not but I hope I did them, the club and supporters proud.
“I honestly loved every minute of playing for this club and can’t wait to cheer the team on from the stands next season.”