Long-time Sydney FC defender Seb Ryall has left the A-League club with immediate effect, citing the need for a break to rediscover his desire to play football.
Ryall, who still had another season remaining on his contract, was granted a release on Wednesday, a touch under nine years after joining the Sky Blues from Melbourne Victory in 2009.
The 28-year-old had been a consistent starter for a number of seasons but has spent much of this campaign and the last on the bench, with Alex Wilkinson, Matt Jurman and then Jordy Buijs filling the central defensive roles.
In 16 games this season, Ryall has played just 128 minutes, but leaves with a total 191 appearances - the third most in the club's history behind Alex Brosque and Terry McFlynn.
He did not say he was retiring, rather taking time out.
"It has been a privilege and an honour to represent this great club for as long as I have, and winning trophies for my home town has been an incredible experience," Ryall said.
"I love this club and have made some fantastic friends but, for now, I feel I need a break from football to pursue some other interests and regain my desire for playing the game.
"It is a big decision, everyone at the club has been unbelievably supportive and I'm hugely thankful for everything they have done for me during the last nine years."
Coach Graham Arnold said he understood Ryall's decision.
"Seb has been an excellent servant to Sydney FC; to play close to 200 games for one club is a fantastic achievement," Arnold said.
"We didn't want him to leave but we understand his desire to take a break, to do some other things in life and rekindle his passion for the game.
"He and I had a great conversation before he left and he is fully supportive of everyone at the club and everything that we are doing here.
"We wish him well in the next stage of his life."
Professional Footballers Association has been supporting Ryall, and chief executive John Didulica has praised the way Sydney had handled his transition.