With over 300 appearances for Brisbane Roar FC and 59 appearances for the Socceroos, Brisbane Strikers alumnus Matt McKay has drawn the curtain on his illustrious football career.
The 36-year-old midfielder announced today that season 2019 will be his last, hanging up the boots as one of the greatest to ever don the Orange and the Green and Gold.
Paving the way for the commencement of his illustrious career, McKay kick started his passion for football at a young age, playing for Queensland clubs including Mount Gravatt Hawks.
It is from there he truly began to be recognised, joining the Queensland Academy of Sport side in 2000 and signing his first contract with current NPL Queensland side, Brisbane Strikers, at 18 years of age in 2001.
Image: Brisbane Strikers
With 51 games over the course of three years, McKay became a staple for the Strikers in the National Soccer League. His talents did not go unnoticed, signing as a foundation player for the Roar for their inaugural campaign in 2005.
McKay went on to play 300 games for one A-League club, a feat that remains unparalleled across Australian football, gaining the hearts of many not only across the nation, but within his own backyard.
“I’m grateful for everything football has given me. I’ve had an enjoyable career with plenty of highs and lows, but I’ve always had a smile on my face and that’s what’s made it for me,” McKay said.
“The thing I cherish is being able to play and work alongside some incredible people. I was there from day one at the Roar and played with some immense players with a great work ethic, which has been really special.”
Getting his start with the Strikers, McKay sees the NPL as an important pathway for players in the region to not only develop but also get acknowledged and rewarded whether it be with an A-League club contract, or team success.
“It’s another avenue for players to develop. A competition that will give younger players a direction to continue their footballing journey. That may be recognition of their talent and movement into an A-League team or to improve their club and win championships,” said McKay.
Graduating from Brisbane Grammar School with GPS football premierships in 1999 and 2000, McKay will return to his old stomping grounds at the completion of the A-League season to take over the reigns as First XI Football Coach, looking to replicate the success of his predecessor Mark Brusasco.
The impact McKay leaves on football throughout Queensland from his achievements on the field, leading the Roar to two premierships and an unbeaten 36 game run and recording 59 caps for his country is matched by his achievements off the field in giving back to the community.
Football Queensland would like to congratulate Matt McKay on a glittering career and wish him all the best in his retirement.
Words: Jacob Cocciolone
Graphic: Brisbane Roar FC