Isaac Richards has left professional football behind to chase a career as an MMA fighter. Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Adelaide United have announced that Isaac Richards has been released by the club with immediate effect to allow the goalkeeper to pursue his dream of becoming an MMA fighter.
Richards came through the youth academy at Adelaide and managed to make a handful of senior appearances as a back-up stopper. However, he has now officially called time on his football career at the age of 21 after admitting that his sporting passions lie in an entirely different arena.
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"I saw football as a great pathway to get myself out of some wrong things I was once doing in my life and it's helped me develop as a person," Richards told the club's website. "I have to thank Adelaide United for giving me an opportunity to be a professional footballer and helping to steer me on the right path. I owe them a lot.
"To me, mixed martial arts has always been my own personal form of self expression. It helps me understand and deal with my emotions.
"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."
This aged well.
Best of luck to you Isaac! https://t.co/uDpfHeer00 pic.twitter.com/MvSkmF8Vxq
— Adelaide United (@AdelaideUnited) July 6, 2020
Bruce Djite, Adelaide's director of football, added: "It's not every day a player walks into your office and says he wants to try and make it as an MMA fighter.
"We're disappointed to be losing Isaac because we have always believed in his potential and football talent. Isaac consistently impressed us as an up-and-coming goalkeeper.
"However, we would never stand in the way of a player following their passion and dreams."
Richards adds his name to the ever-lengthening list of footballers who either retired or set aside their soccer livelihoods for a while in order to try and try out a new sporting career.
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