July 6, 2020 / 8:19 AM / a month ago

Adelaide United keeper quits football to take up fight game

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Adelaide United reserve goalkeeper Isaac Richards has quit football to pursue a career in mixed martial arts (MMA), the A-League club said on Monday.

Richards, who has made two first team appearances for the club, said he took up football to stay out of trouble but MMA had always been his “personal form of self expression”.

“It helps me understand and deal with my emotions,” the 21-year-old said in a team statement.

“I’m excited to be bringing myself out of my comfort zone and looking forward to dedicating my life to my true passion: mixed martial arts.”

United director of football Bruce Djite said he respected and supported Richards’s decision, even it robbed the club of “an up-and-coming goalkeeper”.

“It’s not every day a player walks into your office and says he wants to try and make it as an MMA fighter,” the former Australia forward said.

“On behalf of everyone at Adelaide United, I want to thank Isaac for his honesty and his time at the club, we all sincerely wish him the best for his future.”

Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford

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