Who0le of Football Plan


Paston retires from Phoenix, All Whites future undecided

All Whites goalkeeper Mark Paston will bring the curtain down on his professional football career with the Wellington Phoenix against Melbourne Victory in the A-League but insists he hasn't hung up the gloves for the national team just yet.

Mark Paston (photosport.co.nz)

March 31, 2013

AUCKLAND Ė Paston, 36, told his club teammates of his decision to retire at training yesterday but is leaving the door "slightly ajar" when it comes to continuing his All Whites career.

"It would be nice to finish my international career at the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil but that is some way off," Paston said.

"I will take a few months off and re-evaluate a few things.

"Then I would need to talk to my future employer about time off, and if I do put my hand up for those games later in the year I would need some game time so I would have to find a club.

"I'll worry about that later though. I just need time off at the moment."

Asked why he had chosen now to walk away from the professional game Paston smiled.

"As you get older you start thinking about the following season earlier and earlier," he said.

"It is hard to explain, but you start to wonder if you have it in you to go into another season.

"I'm the sort of guy for who it is all or nothing, and if I don't think I can give it everything I don't see the point of carrying on in the professional sense.

"My body isn't getting any younger and I tend to get to about December and it starts to seize up a bit. That is another sign it is about time to give it up because I canít just turn up and go through the motions.

"It is all or nothing for me and as a goalkeeper at training there is no place to hide."

He has played 36 'A' internationals, the last of which was the crucial 2-1 win over New Caledonia at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin in FIFA World Cup qualifying last week.

Paston helped New Zealand advance to the intercontinental playoff with an as-yet unknown opponent from the CONCACAF confederation in November.

Additional reporting Wellington Phoenix media

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