Sydney Roosters captain Anthony Minichiello has today announced he will retire at the end of the 2014 National Rugby League season.
34 year-old Minichiello, currently the second most-capped player in the foundation Club’s proud history with 294 games to date, behind only Luke Ricketson (301), said he was comfortable with his decision to retire after 15 seasons of top-grade football and that he felt that the time was right to move on to the next chapter of his life.
He will leave the game having achieved success at every level, including captaining his beloved Roosters to the 2013 Premiership.
“It’s a decision I’ve thought long and hard about, and one that I feel is right for myself and my family,” said Minichiello.
“The Roosters mean everything to me. I always dreamed of playing first-grade football and I’m incredibly proud to have been a one club player.
“I feel very fortunate and privileged for the opportunities and career that I have had and I have truly loved every minute of it. I wouldn’t be the man I am today without the Roosters and rugby league.
“I have had 15 very special years playing first grade with so many highlights over that time with the Roosters and also representing my State and my Country. Everything I could ever dream of and more.
“There are so many people who have played an important role in helping my career along the way, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all. I can’t thank the Roosters staff and all the supporters and sponsors enough for the opportunities they have given me over the years.
“I would like to make a special mention of the legendary Arthur Beetson who recruited me to this great club and to especially thank Nick Politis and the Roosters Board of Directors who have always been unwavering in their support. Nick has been very loyal to me throughout the ups and downs in my career. The loyalty he has shown is unmatched. I can never thank you enough.
“To each and every one of my teammates and coaches over the years, I thank you. I also want to make a special mention of Trent Robinson and my current teammates – we’re a tight group and I’m enormously proud to lead you every week.
“Most importantly, I would like to thank my family; my parents for everything they’ve done over the years to help me realise my dreams and especially my wife Terry and our beautiful little girl Azura Trésor for their unconditional love and support. I’m definitely going to enjoy spending more time with you,” he added.
Sydney Roosters Chairman, Nick Politis AM, said: “Anthony has given both the Roosters and the game great service and I thank him for his leadership, professionalism and significant contribution to not only our proud Club but the game of rugby league.
“The name Anthony Minichiello will always be synonymous with the Sydney Roosters,” said Mr Politis AM.
Sydney Roosters Chief Operating Officer Football, Brian Canavan, has praised the one-club player for his services to the Club.
“Having joined the Club’s junior grades in 1997, Anthony has spent more than half his life with the Sydney Roosters, and has been a tremendous achiever at both Club and representative level for a number of years,” said Canavan.
“He has represented the Roosters brand with distinction and been the epitome of the modern day rugby league player and we thank him for his significant service to our Club,” he added.
Sydney Roosters Head Coach, Trent Robinson, thanked Minichiello for his leadership on and off the field.
“Mini is a wonderful leader and such a big part of our proud Club. His professional approach to his training, playing and recovery is testament to the character he is, and has enabled him to achieve all that he has.
“On behalf of the entire playing group, I thank Mini for his important contribution to the team and the Club over the years, and we all look forward to seeing out the season with him,” said Robinson.
At the conclusion of the Roosters 2014 campaign, Minichiello will enjoy some time off before assuming a corporate role within the Club.
“After some time off at the end of the season, I’m looking forward to the next phase of my career. I will be taking on a corporate role with the Roosters, and focussing more time on my business ‘MINIFIT’,” said Minichiello.
“Right now, my main focus is on leading the Roosters as best as I can through the remainder of our 2014 campaign. We still have a job to do,” he added.
Minichiello has won many honours over his 15-season career including two Premierships (2002, 2013) to date and two World Club Challenge Championships (2003, 2014) with the Roosters.
The former Golden Boot and Dally M Fullback of the Year has been capped on 18 occasions for Australia, captained Italy in the 2013 World Cup, made 11 appearances for the NSW Blues and represented NSW City four times.