Melbourne Victory looks set to swiftly bolster its squad after clearing space and salary cap room with striker Danny Allsopp's immediate retirement.
Allsopp, 34, ended his playing career effective immediately on Thursday, the retirement confirmed in a statement put out by Victory.
He injured a hamstring in Victory's 5-0 A-League battering by Brisbane Roar last weekend, and his contract was to expire at the end of the season.
Allsopp's decision to walk away appears the first step in Victory coach Ange Postecoglou assembling the squad he wants to improve the club's winless start to his reign.
Victory would now be able to sign any available free agent who fits under the salary cap rather than wait for the January transfer window where it could pick-up a player from another club.
It has a pressing need for a ball-playing defender, and could also do with another attack-minded player with Allsopp gone.
Postecoglou admitted before Allsopp's surprise announcement that tough love and tough decisions were needed to rebuild broken Victory.
He maintained his team would eventually get right the play-from-the-back style he espouses, and was defiant there would be no changes to how he wants Victory to play.
"I'm here. I'm not going anywhere. We'll get it right," he said on Thursday morning.
"After two games, we're not going to throw away everything we've worked pretty hard on. We're pretty determined as a football club to get it right, and we will do it.
"The key thing to anything like that [the loss to Brisbane] is your response to it."
Socceroos World Cup-qualifier hero Archie Thompson and Mark Milligan arrived back from international duty on Thursday, and went straight into a light training session.
Postecoglou said they would return to the starting line-up to play Adelaide United at Etihad Stadium on Friday night, along with New Zealand winger Marco Rojas.
They are likely to be straight swaps for Allsopp and injured duo Spase Dilevski (calf) and Andrew Nabbout (groin).
Allsopp twice won the club's player of the year award and scored 42 goals in his 118 A-League matches, which included two grand final wins.
His 17-year career spanned more than 400 matches and featured stints in England with Manchester City, Notts County and Hull City, the Middle East and United States.
"I'm extremely proud of what I have achieved throughout my career and football has allowed me to play in leagues across four different continents, including the English Premier League," Allsopp said in a statement.
"Now is the right time to move on to the next chapter of my life."
Meanwhile, attacker Dario Vidosic returns for Adelaide after a minor hamstring injury – the Reds having started the season with maximum points from two matches.
The A-League will make its LIVE free-to-air TV debut next season with the blockbuster clash between Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets on Friday 11 October on SBS 2.