AARON MOOY has revealed his sadness about quitting Celtic with a year still to run on his contract.
But the Australian international midfielder, who will be 33 in September, admitted the “time was right” to call a halt to his career at club and country level.
Mooy, who arrived at Parkhead in the summer after being released by Chinese Super League side Shanghai Port, enjoyed a lengthy time in the game that also saw him play for Brighton, St Mirren, Melbourne City and Huddersfield Town.
He won 57 caps for his country and was a key man during the World Cup Finals in Qatar in the winter.
Mooy said: “While it feels really sad to be leaving the game, I just feel the time is right for me. I have been so fortunate to enjoy such a great career across the last 15 years, creating some fantastic memories.
“I am delighted to finish my career on such a high with Celtic and I would like to thank all the fans for the great support they gave me during the past year – I was delighted to be part of such a memorable season.
“I hope Celtic continue to dominate the game and I wish Brendan, the new manager, great success with the great group of lads at the club.”
Mooy, speaking to the club website, continued: “Playing for my country is something I have loved, too, and, of course, I will miss the international set-up and so many great people who are involved there.
“I have been fortunate to win a number of caps for my country and this has been really important to me. Of course, I wish Australia nothing but success for the future and I am sure they can get better and better.
“There are too many people to thank who have played such an important role in my career, so many managers, coaches, staff and fellow players. I have been very privileged to be part of some fantastic football environments, all created by really good people.”
The gifted midfielder, who was crucial to the Hoops last season during skipper Callum McGregor’s injury-enforced 11-game lay-off, added: “My family is everything to me and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all for the absolute support I have received from them during my career.
“I just want to thank them for being there for me in so many ways.
“Thank you once again to everyone who has supported me right across my career in this great game.”