The Isuzu-UTE A-League’s greatest player, Sydney FC Captain Alex Wilkinson has called time on his illustrious and hugely successful playing career after 21 years.
The centre-half retires as one of Australian football’s most decorated players, having won twelve major trophies at home and abroad and making over 600 appearances for club and country.
Wilkinson leaves the game as the only player in A-League Men’s history to win five Premierships.
The defender has also claimed three A-League Championships, two Korean League Championships, an Australia Cup title and the AFC Asian Cup with the Socceroos in 2015.
He also holds the record for most appearances in A-League Grand Finals with seven and most A-League Finals Series matches with 30.
Sydney FC Chairman Scott Barlow said: “Alex Wilkinson will be remembered as one of Australian football’s greatest players.
“He is a phenomenal leader, a consummate professional, a tireless competitor on the field and a true gentleman off it.
“Alex leads by example and inspires those around him to perform at their best.
“He has been a central figure in our club’s greatest achievements over the last seven years.
“His legacy of success may go unsurpassed in the Australian game.
“Alex has all the qualities we value highly and we will be speaking to him about opportunities to remain at the club in other capacities.”
Wilkinson sits 8th in the list of players with most appearances in Australian national leagues history on 410 and third highest overall in terms of A-League matches with 365 games.
Sydney FC Head Coach Steve Corica heaped praise on Wilkinson for his achievements.
“Alex has had a stunning career; he has won every major domestic trophy and is not only a great footballer but also a great person.
“He is the ultimate professional, sets high standards for our players on the pitch and as a great leader, drives the culture off it.
“He played in the very first A-League Grand Final 18 years ago and is still able to perform to the highest standards; coming within one game of finishing in another.
“I wish him all the best for the future.”
Wilkinson has been named in the Professional Footballers Australia Team of the Year on three occasions and was also named Sydney FC Player of the Year for the 2020-21 season.
He was also named in the K-League Best XI in 2014.
“I feel so lucky and privileged to have been able to play this game professionally for over 20 years,” said the 38-year old.
“My football career has given me more than I could have ever hoped for, and it has provided me with lasting relationships, experiences and memories that I will carry with me forever.
“But I feel now is the right time to retire and I am looking forward to the next chapter in my life.
“I owe everyone at Sydney FC a huge thank you for firstly allowing me to be a part of this wonderful club for such an extended period of time, but secondly for making my time here so thoroughly enjoyable.
“From Scott Barlow to Steve Corica and especially all my team-mates, I am so grateful for all your support.
“I want to especially thank my family. To my wife and two kids, who have travelled with me all over the world and sacrificed so much for me to live my dream. To my mum, dad and sister who have supported me unconditionally from day one.”
In total Wilkinson made 620 career appearances scoring eight goals.
His 16 Socceroos caps include three appearances at the FIFA World Cup in 2014 in Brazil against Chile, the Netherlands and Spain.
Wilkinson will be recognized for his contribution to Sydney FC early next season when the Sky Blue Members and fans will have the opportunity to thank him for his service.
Alex Wilkinson’s Career
Date Club/Country Appearances (Goals)
2002–2004 – Northern Spirit – 45 (0)
2005-2012 – Central Coast Mariners – 206 (3)
2011 – Jiangsu FC, China – 12 (0) loan
2012-2015 – Jeonbuk Motors, Korea – 86 (0)
2015-16 – Melbourne City – 10 (0)
2016-23 – Sydney FC – 221 (3)
2014 – Australia – 16 (0)
2003 – Australia U20 – 14 (0)
2001 – Australia U17 – 12 (4)
Alex Wilkinson Honours List
1 x AFC Asian Cup Champions – 2015.
3 x A-League Men’s Champions – 2016-17, 2018-19, 2019-20.
5 x A-League Men’s Premiers – 2007-08, 2011-12, 2016-17, 2017-18, 2019-20.
2 x K-League Champions – 2014, 2015.
1 x Australia Cup – 2017.
Most A-League Grand Final Appearances – 7
Most A-League Finals Series Appearances – 30
PFA A-League Team Of The Season – 2016-17, 2017-18, 2019-20
K-League Team Of The Season – 2014
Sydney FC Player Of The Season – 2020-21
A-League Pre-Season Challenge Cup – 2005
OFC Championship U20 – 2002
OFC Championship U17 – 2001