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

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

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

“To me, combined 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: combined martial arts.”

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

“We’re dissatisfied to be shedding Isaac as a result of we’ve got at all times believed in his potential and soccer expertise. Isaac persistently impressed us as an up-and-coming goalkeeper.

“Nonetheless, we might by no means stand in the best way of a participant following their ardour and desires.”

Richards provides his title to the ever-lengthening record of footballers who both retired or put aside their soccer livelihoods for some time with a view to try 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 slim win.

Gabriel Batistuta (polo)

After retiring from soccer in 2005 on the age of 36 on account of 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 carry the celebrated Copa Stella Artois in 2009.

Rafael van der Vaart (darts)

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

He then stunned all people 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 solid himself a facet profession as a fairly first rate seashore volleyball participant, even representing his nation at a global occasion in 2017.

Paolo Maldini (tennis)

One of the vital 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. Nonetheless, following his retirement from soccer, the Ballon d’Or winner tried to launch an expert profession, participating within the 2013 Kharkov Superior Cup in his native Ukraine.

Sadly, his involvement got here to a untimely finish after he missed the minimize 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 sphere.

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.

Nonetheless, 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 just a few years later when he took half within the 2014 Volkswagen Castrol Cup — a championship that toured the circuits of Japanese Europe.

Sticking with the motorsport theme, Villas-Boas raised just a few 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 levels earlier than a nasty crash noticed him hospitalised with a again damage.

ESPN’s Matt Walsh contributed to this report





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