Wellington Phoenix captain and PFA Executive member Ross Aloisi announced his retirement from professional football yesterday due to an ongoing serious back injury.

Ross, the inaugural captain of the Phoenix in the franchise’s debut season in 2007/2008, also captained Adelaide United to the inaugural A-League Premiership in 2005/2006 and led the club to the 2007 A-League Grand Final.

In an 18-year club career that has seen him play in Switzerland, France, Austria and Italy, Ross also won a National Soccer League (NSL) Championship with Adelaide City in 1991/1992. He has 5 Socceroos caps to his name from between 1994 and 1999.

Ross has also been a PFA Executive member since the launch of the A-League in 2005.

PFA Chief Executive Brendan Schwab said, “Ross has always been an influential and effective member of the PFA Executive held in high regard by his fellow professionals on and off the field. He has provided critical experience and guidance as a player in Adelaide and Wellington for the first three seasons of the A-League.”

“His career and retirement highlight the constant threat and battle players have with injury and remind us all that the career of a professional footballer is precarious and one of constant transition.”

“Ross has been an excellent ambassador for Australian football throughout his career. His service and support to the players through the PFA is greatly appreciated. We wish Ross all the best in his future endeavours.”