Central Coast Treble winning captain and Mariners Legend Danny Vukovic announces retirement from professional football

Treble-winning captain and Central Coast Mariners legend Danny Vukovic has today announced his retirement after playing over 20 years of professional football.

The 39-year-old will now complete his coaching courses, with Vukovic preparing to move into the Mariners coaching staff for the 2024/25 season.

Starting his professional footballing journey with Parramatta Power in the National Soccer League, Vukovic made his debut in October 2002 as a 17-year-old. Since that day, Vukovic has gone on to become a legend of Australian football, playing for the Socceroos whilst also securing numerous domestic trophies along the way.

The 39-year-old joined the Mariners in the first season of the A-League, making his debut in Round 6 against Melbourne Victory. Despite that match ending in a 2-1 defeat, Vukovic produced a penalty save, endearing himself immediately to the Central Coast faithful.

In his first stint with the club, our goalkeeper played for five years, making over 100 appearances. He helped us win our first piece of league silverware in 2008, securing the Premiers Plate.

During his time away from the Mariners, Vukovic continued to solidify himself as one of the nation’s best goalkeepers. His record-breaking season in 2016/17 with Sydney FC went down in history, having a remarkable 16 clean sheets that campaign.

He would then move to Europe with Belgium club Genk, winning a Championship, League Cup and Super Cup with the club.

Vukovic was also a part of the Socceroos setup for a number of years, becoming cap number 595 against Colombia when he again saved a penalty. He ultimately made two Socceroos World Cup squads before retiring from International Football in 2023.

In 2022, Vukovic returned to the Central Coast Mariners, becoming our captain ahead of the 22/23 season. That campaign would end up being a historic one, as Vukovic led us to our first A-League Championship in 10 years.

This season ended up being even more remarkable, as he led a largely new team to a historic treble. In sensational form himself, which saw him finish the league with the most clean sheets (13), he led from the back as we charged to an AFC Cup, Premiers Plate and Championship treble.

In poetic fashion, our skipper’s last ever professional game was a Grand Final in Gosford, over 18 years after he first stepped out onto Industree Group Stadium for his debut.

Vukovic finishes his professional career with 3 Premiers Plates, 3 A-League Championships, one Australia Cup, a Belgium Championship, Belgium Cup and an AFC Cup.

Vukovic explained why the time is right for him to hang up the gloves, excited for the next step in his footballing journey and to spend more quality time with his family.

“I couldn’t think of a better way to go out. It has been so enjoyable; I have loved being a professional footballer. To finish it off like this, with the club where it all began in the A-League, there is nothing more fitting for me,” Vukovic said.

“I have been feeling like the time is right for a while, it has a lot to do with my family and my boys. I can be replaced as a goalkeeper, but I can’t be replaced as a father and that is what it comes down to for me. I’m really excited to go into the coaching world, we have two fantastic young goalkeepers in the first team and more in the younger squads, so I look forward to continuing to work with them.”