Adelaide United have introduced that Isaac Richards has been launched by the Australian A-League membership with quick impact to permit the goalkeeper to pursue his dream of turning into an MMA fighter.

Richards got here by means of the youth academy at Adelaide and managed to make a handful of senior appearances as a back-up stopper. Nevertheless, he has now formally known as time on his soccer profession on the age of 21 after admitting that his sporting passions lie in a completely completely different enviornment.

“I noticed soccer as an amazing pathway to get myself out of some flawed issues I used to be as soon as doing in my life and it is helped me develop as an individual,” Richards informed the membership’s web site. “I’ve to thank Adelaide United for giving me a possibility to be knowledgeable footballer and serving to to steer me on the correct path. I owe them rather a lot.

“To me, blended martial arts has at all times been my very own private type of self expression. It helps me perceive and take care of my feelings.

“I am excited to be bringing myself out of my consolation zone and searching ahead to dedicating my life to my true ardour: blended martial arts.”

Bruce Djite, Adelaide’s director of soccer, added: “It is not each day a participant walks into your workplace and says he needs to attempt to make it as an MMA fighter.

“We’re dissatisfied to be dropping Isaac as a result of now we have at all times believed in his potential and soccer expertise. Isaac constantly impressed us as an up-and-coming goalkeeper.

“Nevertheless, we might by no means stand in the way in which of a participant following their ardour and goals.”

Richards provides his identify to the ever-lengthening record of footballers who both retired or put aside their soccer livelihoods for some time with the intention to attempt to check out a brand new sporting profession.

Having retired from soccer final yr, Cech signed on for Guildford Phoenix within the Nationwide Ice Hockey League southern division as their new back-up goalkeeper.

The previous Chelsea and Arsenal shot-stopper even saved a few very important penalties on his debut, placing in a man-of-the-match efficiency to earn Phoenix a slender win.

Gabriel Batistuta (polo)

After retiring from soccer in 2005 on the age of 36 resulting from continual ankle ache, Batistuta started chasing his sporting kicks on horseback. Already a eager polo participant, the previous Argentina striker resumed taking part in at an elite degree and went on to raise the distinguished Copa Stella Artois in 2009.

Rafael van der Vaart (darts)

By no means one to play completely by the e book, former Actual Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Van der Vaart retired from soccer in 2018 after a quick, largely forgettable stint with Danish membership Esbjerg.

He then shocked everyone by becoming a member of the British Darts Organisation (BDO) circuit the next yr and even profitable on his skilled debut on the Denmark Open — coincidentally being held in Esbjerg.

Whereas he hasn’t technically retired from soccer but, Bayern Munich winger Perisic has already cast himself a aspect profession as a fairly first rate seashore volleyball participant, even representing his nation at a world occasion in 2017.

Paolo Maldini (tennis)

Some of the adorned footballers of all-time, AC Milan legend Maldini dipped into the world of professional tennis in 2017 however suffered defeat on his aggressive ATP doubles debut — tumbling out of the Aspria Tennis Cup in straight units.

Andriy Shevchenko (golf)

Shevchenko is a eager golfer and commonly takes half in pro-am occasions world wide. Nevertheless, following his retirement from soccer, the Ballon d’Or winner tried to launch knowledgeable profession, collaborating within the 2013 Kharkov Superior Cup in his native Ukraine.

Sadly, his involvement got here to a untimely finish after he missed the reduce on the opening day, ending up 40 photographs adrift of the chief.

Clive Allen (American soccer)

Lengthy earlier than Harry Kane revealed his NFL ambition, fellow Tottenham striker Clive Allen made the leap to American soccer when he signed on as a kicker for the London Monarchs in 1997.

Allen stop after one season in NFL Europe after revealing he did not realise he may really get hit on the sector.

Tim Wiese, Grant Holt (professional wrestling)

Grant Holt hit the headlines in 2018 when the previous Norwich Metropolis striker made his wrestling debut at an occasion within the UK.

Nevertheless, the path was blazed a number of years earlier by Tim Wiese, who gave up his gig tending purpose for Hoffenheim to land a correct contract with the WWE.

Andre Villas-Boas, Jerzy Dudek (motorsports)

After bowing out with Actual Madrid in 2011, Dudek fulfilled his ambition of turning into a racing driver a number of years later when he took half within the 2014 Volkswagen Castrol Cup — a championship that toured the circuits of Jap Europe.

Sticking with the motorsport theme, Villas-Boas raised a number of eyebrows in 2018 when he stop his submit as Shanghai SIPG coach to participate in that yr’s Dakar endurance rally.

Sadly, the Portuguese solely lasted 4 phases earlier than a nasty crash noticed him hospitalised with a again harm.

ESPN’s Matt Walsh contributed to this report





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