No Return Of The Jedi | Aston Villa Coach Mile Jedinak Retires From Football

Villa’s former midfielder Mile Jedinak has confirmed his retirement from the game.

Whilst the Australian might be best remember in the UK for five years at Crystal Palace, the 35 year old featured at three world cups, totalling 79 international caps including a successful spell at Villa.

Jedinak, a genuine on field leader, was a deceptively important addition to a Villa side ultimately successful gaining promotion from The Championship in 2019.

On Instagram he wrote:

I was a young boy from Western Australia with a dream to play professional football.

My journey to reach that goal was full of so many experiences, challenges and memories that will always be cherished.

I want to thank all the clubs I represented for allowing me the opportunity to do so. It is now time for a new chapter.

Jedinak was officially released by Villa at the culmination of the 2018/2019 season but has remained involved at the club, coaching at Villa’s significanlty redeveloped Academy at Bodymoor Heath.

Jedi’s career will be recalled in the UK for two successful promotions with both Palace and Villa.

For us Villa fans he’ll be remembered for his versatility in a side that lurched from one disaster to another under the ownership of Tony Xia.

Jedinak was an uncompromising figure in the centre of the park and frequently came into his own during the latter stages of a game.  The former Australian captain would often go deeper, almost becoming an additional centre half, soaking up pressure and winning everything in the air.

The Asian-Cup winner was also deceptively good going forward.  Jedinak contributed a number of important goals during his time at Villa Park.

A semi-final headed Middlesbrough goal sent Villa on their way to Wembley in 2018, a final we would however go on to lose against Fulham.

He repeated his goalscoring exploits at year later, rifling in an uber cool penalty in at The Hawthorns during the semi-final shoot out.  Villa went on the win the shoot-out and the final at Wembley against Fulham.  The semi-final also featured a now infamous stare into the crowd:

Jedinak’s time at Villa wasn’t all perfect, with injury and a gruelling travel schedule due to international commitments sometimes taking their toll.  Given this, he retired from featuring for Australia in October 2018.

Signed in 2016, Jedinak is now reportedly settled in the Birmingham area and has been involved with the academy since March 2020 having not found a new club.  Jedinak hadn’t played since May 2019, and whilst stating a desire to play on, has instead now opted to retire.

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