Mile Jedinak has announced his retirement from football, ending a playing career in which strong leadership was a focal point.
Promotion-winning Crystal Palace captain Mile Jedinak has today announced his retirement as a player, putting an end to a stellar career that, for Palace fans at least, helped to shape the club into what it is today.
Jedinak, who was born and raised in Sydney, arrived at Selhurst Park via a spell in Turkey, and despite a slow start became a central figure in Dougie Freedman’s team which then went on to win promotion under the guidance of Ian Holloway.
His leadership was clear to see in that promotion-winning side. A powerful, uncompromising central midfield presence, the Australian didn’t just lead on the pitch but also off it. He has been credited by fellow professionals as being key to the side finding the resilience it needed to secure a playoff spot and to then win those, and it was his goal against Peterborough United in the final regular game of the season which secured that play-off spot.
He didn’t just prove his worth to the promotion side however. His work rate and leadership became crucial in the Palace’s successful Premier League safety, helping to shepherd the team to safety in successive campaigns. Alongside James McArthur and Joe Ledley, Jedinak formed a midfield partnership -- structured by Tony Pulis -- that made Palace's midfield one of the most challenging to break down.
"It's Mile Jedinak to STRIKE IT!" 🎙— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) November 23, 2018
4️⃣ years ago today... 🤤 pic.twitter.com/QKpPgIRC4x
Jedinak went on to captain the club to only their second FA Cup Final, in a run that saw them come within minutes of winning the competition in 2016.
His captaincy came to an end that summer, following Alan Pardew’s decision to pass the responsibility to Scott Dann, a move that he wasn’t consulted about and that ultimately signalled the end of his Palace career. It was, to many Palace fans, an acrimonious decision — especially given the unceremonious way in which it happened.
A proud Australian, Jedinak also captained Australia through two FIFA World Cup tournaments as well as to their first ever AFC Asian Cup win. His playing career after Palace also saw him guide Aston Villa to promotion from the Championship.
We at FYP have been incredibly fortunate to have had Jedinak as a podcast guest. You can listen to his appearance on the podcast prior to his FA Cup Final appearance by CLICKING HERE to get a sense of the man's character and the quietly confident leadership which was so key to the side's success.
Thank you for your dedication to the Palace cause, Mile. For showing us the true meaning of leadership and for guiding us to some of the most memorable moments in the club’s history.