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By ESPN Staff

Phoenix goalkeeper Paston to retire

Goalkeeper Mark Paston will call time on his professional soccer career when the Wellington Phoenix conclude their A-League season against the Melbourne Victory at home on Sunday.

But the 36-year-old New Zealander is keeping the door "slightly ajar" as far as international football is concerned.

The prospect of playing on until the 2014 World Cup in Brazil is an enticing one, but he says that tournament is still some way off and his immediate plan is to take a few months off.

New Zealand have an intercontinental home-and-away play-off in November for a place in Brazil and there are also build-up fixtures planned before then.

"If I do put my hand up for those games later in the year, I would need some game time so I would have to find a club," he said.

"I'll worry about that later though. I just need time off at the moment."

Paston played in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

He was also in goal for his 36th cap just over a week ago when the All Whites beat New Caledonia 2-1 in Dunedin to clinch their place in the play-off.

Paston, who has been with the Phoenix from the start in 2007, told his teammates of his decision at training on Saturday.

"As you get older you start thinking about the following season earlier and earlier," he said.

"I'm the sort of guy for whom it's all or nothing. If I don't think I can give it everything, I don't see the point of carrying on in the professional sense."


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