Duric confirms retirement at end of next season

The evergreen striker admitted he had thought about hanging up his boots this season, but felt he had enough left in his tank for a final swansong with the Stags in 2014

Tampines Rovers forward Aleksandar Duric has earmarked the year 2014 for his retirement after yet another title-winning campaign with the Stags.

Having just won a third consecutive S.League as the season draws its conclusion, Duric reflected on the season with satisfaction.

“The season is good considering we won the league with four games to spare, I must say we are happy about that,” Duric said.

“We weren't really happy we lost another two trophies, the Singapore Cup and the special AFC Cup. The AFC was more disappointing for us as a team, as a club but we won the league again so it’s a kind of okay season.”

However, the former Singapore international has revealed he plans to bring the curtain down to a glittering football playing career that has spanned over 20 years.

“Definitely next year, next year will be my last season 100 per cent,” the 43-year-old confirmed.

"So I am looking forward for one more season with Tampines, try to win a fourth [consecutive] title if I can, [then] it’s really time for me to step down and look for some new challenges in life.”

Duric had initially planned to retire after the current campaign, but felt his body was still in good enough shape to handle one last season of football in the league.

“I thought I was going to retire, honestly; I was thinking to retire this year because it’s good to retire on the high note, but I never really looked that way because I had a really good season this year," Duric explained.

“I think it helped me a lot because I am not playing anymore for [the] national team so I get lots more rest and don’t travel much, because [with the] national team there were really too many games I played for the last five years, so in my age [this] is just perfect now this, just playing S.League games.”

After enjoying a superb year winning the AFF Suzuki Cup with Singapore and the league title with the Stags, Duric is hoping that his final season will end on a similarly high note.

“I hope I win something next season because it will be real disappointing not to win anything and to retire without anything around the neck,” Duric said.