Westfield W-League veteran announces retirement

Melbourne Victory's Gülcan Koca has announced her retirement from professional football.

The Westfield W-League veteran took to Instagram last night to announce that her "professional football journey has come to an end."

Koca began her career with Victory in 2009 and has been with the club every season since, finishing with 66 Westfield W-League matches for Melbourne.

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In that time the Turkey international has been a hugely versatile presence, appearing predominantly on the right flank but also excelling in both attacking and defensive roles.

"If I could stay here forever I would, but sometimes life creates you a different path that you need to follow," Koca wrote on social media.

"Thank you to everyone who supported me along the way, coaches, team mates, medical staff, my family and friends and the fans! I will never forget the hot and cold day/ nights and long drives you all made to support me and my team and for that I will be forever great full."

Melbourne Victory kick off the new Westfield W-League 2018/19 campaign at home to Adelaide United on Sunday 28 October at AAMI Park, kick off 4.15pm.

View this post on Instagram

My professional football journey has come to an end. Playing for this amazing club has been a dream come true and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I feel as if being here with you all for nine years has made me a more complete and well-rounded person. Being part of a team has taught me skills that I can use in more than just professional football. My relationships on a personal level are in a great place, thanks to some of the things I've learned from many of you along my footballing journey. I've come to realize that being a part of a team is a lot more than just sharing credit. A team effort takes compromise. When you are on a team you have to at times lead, follow, and more often than not, meet in the middle. If I could stay here forever I would, but sometimes life creates you a different path that you need to follow. My wish for everyone here is that you all continue to experience success, to feel fulfilled in all you do, and to have nothing but great results with each game and season. It's been a pleasure playing for Melbourne Victory and I will truly miss it. I take with me fond memories, friendships and gratitude. Thank you to everyone who supported me along the way, coaches, team mates, medical staff, my family and friends and the fans! I will never forget the hot and cold day/ nights and long drives you all made to support me and my team and for that I will be forever great full. Finally my team mates! I love you all so much and no one will ever understand the sacrifices we have made and keep making for the sport we love. I am so proud of you all and wish nothing but the best for you all and your footballing careers. I will be following your progress and cheering you on every game. Melbourne Victory #17 Gulcan Koca @gomvfc @victorywleague

A post shared by Gülcan Koca (@gulcankoca_) on