13-year Adelaide United veteran and current assistant coach Michael Valkanis is ending his career at Hindmarsh.
With nearly every possible accolade listed next to his name, an announcement issued by the club earlier today states that the record highs of 2015-16 will
“For me it’s been an amazing journey over the 13 years at Adelaide United Football Club. Being here from day one when this club was formed has been amazing and it’s been a big part of my life,” Valkanis said.
“I’m really grateful that I’ve had this opportunity to be part of United as a player, captain, coach, and I’ve had so many up moments that I’ll never forget.”
After sitting bottom of the table and winless after eight rounds, the Reds’ historic turnaround under the leadership of Valkanis and Guillermo Amor will forever be etched in A-League lore.
“It’s amazing and I thank God for the way it all worked out (lifting the trophy), it was always a dream of mine to win a Championship here, whether as a player, a coach.
“We had to win the league and I wanted to make sure that when I left one day I’d done that and to me for that to happen this week…I felt achieved.
“I’d worked hard as a player and as a coach and it’s finally done.”
In his career as a player, Valkanis recorded a total of 77 appearances for Adelaide, voted Best Team Man for the 2003-04 season, Player’s Player for 2005-06 and was a vital cog in the squad that won the 2005-06 Premiers’ Plate.
His legacy may be best felt on the sidelines though, leading the development of young South Australian stars as the trophy-winning coach of the Young Reds and understudying the likes of Josep Gombau and Amor to the FFA Cup, Premiers’ Plate and A-League championship.
“As a coach I’ve always said to players you need to challenge yourself. and you need to get out of your comfort zone. So I need to do the same to help me progress in my coaching career,” said Valkanis.
“It’s an emotional time to say goodbye to Adelaide United, and I will now take a break with my family because they’ve seen how much I’ve sacrificed.
“I’ve given my life for the Club and I’ve always put it first. I’ve always done my best, but now it’s my time to move on.”