Today, the long and illustrious career of Perth Glory's captain, Jacob Burns, comes to an end, with the former Leeds United, Barnsley and Socceroos’ midfielder announcing his retirement from the playing side of the game.
Today, the long and illustrious career of Perth Glory's captain, Jacob Burns, comes to an end, with the former Leeds United, Barnsley and Socceroos- midfielder announcing his retirement from the playing side of the game.
Born in New South Wales, Burns began his professional career at Sydney United in the season of 1995/96, winning two minor premierships, before joining Parramatta Power in 1999. After only one season in the National Soccer League, Burns secured a A$800,000 move to English Premier League club Leeds United.
The midfielder featured at Elland Road in their most successful period in the Premier League, making his debut against Charlton Athletic in a 3-1 win in October 2000 in front of 40,000 people.
He also played in the UEFA Champions League for Leeds that season, up against European powerhouse clubs, Real Madrid, Barcelona and AC Milan. In that same season he made his first full Socceroo's appearance, in their 2-0 win against Scotland at Hampden Park.
"I remember that day well." Burns said.
"It still is one of the most memorable and significant highlights of my career. To represent my home country, wearing the Green and Gold in front of the most influential people in my life, like my father, things just don't get any better" Burns continued.
"What makes the game even greater was that my family has some Scottish heritage, so the day was very special to me, and of course we won"
Burns went on to earn another 11 international caps for the Socceroos.
In 2003, Burns completed a free transfer to Barnsley, going on to play over 90 games and captaining the side at Oakwell.
The defensive midfielder then headed to Polish Champions, Wisla Krakow, for two seasons playing in the UEFA cup and winning the league in 2008. Following his manager at the time, Dan Petrescu, to the Romanian side, Unirea Urziceni, Burns won yet another league title.
With, one year left on his contract, 2009 Burns decided it was time for him and his family to return to Australia after 10 successful seasons in Europe and on 4 May 2009, he signed a three-year contract with Perth Glory and was immediately awarded the Club captaincy.
Leading the Club ever since, and always playing with his heart on his sleeve, his robust midfield drive has been a major part of Perth Glory-s play over the past 4 years.”
One of Burns' most memorible achievements at Perth Glory was when Glory reached the 2011-12 Hyundai A-League Grand Final against Brisbane Roar.
It was a dream run to the final with Burns- leadership shining through, with the skipper holding his nerve and converting the winning penalty in the shoot-out win against Central Coast Mariners in the semi-final away to earn a place in the Grand Final.
"It was an incredible experience" Burns reminisced.
"The Hyundai A-League is like no other in the world, earlier in that season no one gave us a hope to get to the Grand Final, but the Perth Glory supporters, and ourselves, believed in the Club and magic was made."
The Grand Final result may have been a disappointment for the Club, but Burns- performance was superb and he was awarded the ‘Joe Marston Medal- as best on field, in a losing side, which shows what this Club means to the feisty midfielder.
"It was a very special moment for me, something that doesn't come around too often" Burns stated.
"To be honoured in such a way by receiving an individual accolade, is something that I share with my fellow team mates and our loyal supporters. In an ideal world it would have been fantastic to have lifted the cup together with them all that day".
Burns has played 114 games for Perth Glory over the past 4 years, and has led by example, both on and off the field.
Jacob Burns will be remembered as one of the finest leaders in the Clubs history, and will leave a huge hole in the middle of the park. From all of us here at the Perth Glory Football Club we wish you, your wife, you two sons and beautiful daughter all the best and look forward to seeing you all in the near future and during the 2014/15 Hyundai A-League season.