New Zealand and Wellington Phoenix midfielder Tim Brown will retire at the end of the current A-League season.
In a surprise announcement the 31-year-old, who has been a mainstay of the New Zealand midfield over recent years, says he wishes to turn his attention to study.
Brown has been a virtual ever-present in the All Whites line-up accruing 30 caps, including 13 as captain, since his debut in 2004.
Brown captained New Zealand at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in the absence of the injured Ryan Nelsen, but missed the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ after injuring his shoulder on the eve of the tournament.
It was tough making the decision to leave what has been a dream job but I believe it is the right time.
“It was an emotional decision to make, but an exciting one for me,” said Brown who has the opportunity to study at either the London School of Economics or Cambridge University.
“The opportunity to continue my studies at either of those places is fantastic.
“It was tough making the decision to leave what has been a dream job but I believe it is the right time for me having just turned 31.”
Brown was not tempted by the prospect of further international glory despite missing South Africa 2010 and with New Zealand’s qualifiers looming in June.
“This is probably one of the most talented New Zealand sides that I can remember. It is a hugely exciting group.
“But when you embark on a journey like that (World Cup qualifying campaign) you have to give it everything. That’s what we did last time and we were rewarded."
Brown’s swansong could be as early as this Friday with Wellington Phoenix hosting Sydney FC in an elimination A-League finals match.