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Jan, 19, 2008

Aloisi holds off retirement talk

Ross Aloisi will let the dust settle from Wellington's debut A-League season before deciding whether to pull the pin on his impressive footballing career.

The former Adelaide United skipper, given a lifeline by the Phoenix this season after his controversial exit from the Reds following their inglorious grand final loss, said he wanted to continue but admitted the final decision rested with the club.

"If you had asked me four weeks ago I would have said this will be my last game in the A-League," the 34-year-old said after his side's 2-0 loss to Central Coast on Saturday.

"But then again, I've still got to sit down with (coach) Ricki Herbert and Tony Pignata, the CEO, and see what they want to do."

Aloisi played just 13 games for the Phoenix this season due to injury and suspension, but as skipper and midfield general played a key role in the club's maiden campaign.

"I'd like to play on ... but at the end of the day it's not my decision, and if the club feel like they want to bring in a younger player, than I have to accept that and sit out," said the 17-year veteran, who was capped five times for the Socceroos and spent the best part of seven years playing in Europe.

"We'll see what happens, we've still got a few things on the go there in New Zealand, I'd like to end my career at the club, whether it's this year or next season.

"The club has been great to me, (chairman) Terry Serepisos has been unbelievable, the fans have been fantastic so we'll make a decision in the next couple of months."

Saturday's loss consigned the Phoenix to last place on the ladder.

But despite walking away with the wooden spoon, coach Herbert rated the season a success for the fledgling club which had little time to prepare for their debut after rising from the ashes of the woeful New Zealand Knights.

"I kind of don't think we should have (finished last), at times we could have finished in the top four, but we didn't," Herbert said.

"We're pleased with what we've done. Off the field has been sensational for us ... but we want to move forward in a positive way and we certainly will.

"It's a decent bit of progress for us. We've got time to sit back and reflect now and spend the next four or five months preparing for the new season, which we didn't have this time around.

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