?CHI CHI? Mendez calls it a day


Mendez has bid farewell to playing competitive football but his spectacular skills will still be on hand as the Argentine born star has decided to play on with Brookvale FC in the local Manly Warringah Soccer Association competition in Sydney.
Although we?ve lost Mendez at a professional level, his presence will now be felt in the lower leagues as he takes more of a role watching his kids grow up.
?I?ve decided to pull the pin at Premier League level as I?ve had other things on my mind.
?My children being the main reason why as I want to watch them grow and develop into adults.
?I want to be able to see my son Gian play his football and my daughter Seone player her tennis on a weekend.?
Gian is said to be a football player in the making and is currently playing with the Glenwood Redbacks while Seone is currently a hot promising product of Tennis NSW.
Brookvale FC has been a pretty successful side in its local area throughout the years as Mendez believes that the club is aiming high in hopefully capturing the Champion of Champions title once again.
?They?ve been a pretty triumphant side in the last ten years.
?I think from what I?ve heard they?ve won eight championships and also the Champion of Champions title so they?ve been pretty successful.
?I am going to this league not knowing what to expect but I want to help the club win as many matches as possible.
?First and foremost I want to enjoy the game and within that hopefully nurture some of the young kids at the club wanting to go further with their professional careers as footballers.?
Asked whether he fielded offers in the 2008 TeleChoice Premier League Mendez replied.
?I did receive a couple of offers but the more concrete one was at Sydney Olympic.
?I was helping the Blues with Milan Blagojevic during pre-season and was thinking of playing again but the commitment for me wasn?t there like before.
?As I said earlier, I wanted to spend more time with my family and I am fortunate that I?ve had a very supportive wife who has understood my trade during my time as a footballer.?

?Chi Chi? ended off his TeleChoice Premier League career on a high in 2007 as his former club the Blacktown City Demons took out both the Premiership and Championship.
?It was obviously a great way to go even though I hadn?t officially planned on hanging up the boots then.
?I was disappointed to have gotten a red card in the Grand-Final against Bankstown but the boys did tremendously well and we all lifted that trophy at the end of the match which was a huge moment for everyone especially me.
?I really enjoyed my time with the Demons but overall I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a footballer.
?I had a rollercoaster career but I loved every minute of being a full time footballer and at the end of it all I was very happy with how things finished up.?
The Demons have this season gone through a huge rebuilding process as many as 14 players have left the 2007 squad.
?It?s obviously going to be a difficult year for the Demons with the new restructure but I am confident that the club will continue its ability to develop youngsters into promising footballers as they have done so in previous years.?
With the 2008 TeleChoice Premier League season having kicked off, Mendez shed his views on which clubs he would be battling for the Championship trophy at the end of the year.
?There are quite a few teams that are evenly matched.
?It has been no secret that Sydney Olympic have picked up some great players and they are a good chance of taking out the title.
?Marconi has a decent squad also and I believe David Barrett has a good head on his shoulders with quite a few promising young kids that will battle for the Championship.
?Sutherland Sharks will be a pretty strong side and have a great advantage on their home pitch which is always tough to win matches at.
?Manly United have been known as the team that gives 110% every game and I believe they will be up there amongst the best at the end of the season.
?Finally you can?t count out the likes of Bankstown City and also Sydney United who both have some quality players within their playing rosters.?
Apart from his up and coming gig with Brookvale, Mendez has also hinted that he could possibly indulge into the coaching scene like so many ex-Australian football stars have done in previous years.
?I am coaching the football side at Knox Grammar at the moment and that?s been fantastic.
?It?s certainly an option that I may be thinking about in terms of taking it to another level but I guess only time will tell with that.
?I really get a kick out of watching youngsters develop especially from grassroots level and seeing them enjoy the round ball game.?
Mendez has been playing professional football for a strong 18 years now which has seen him play in the old National Soccer League, Austria, England and Malaysia.
?I?ve played in many countries and that?s been one of my highlights in my career.
?Being able to say that I played in Europe was something of a dream for me and I am delighted that I got that chance.?
The former Socceroo has heralded many magnificent and fond moments but asked which ones he held close to his heart Mendez stated to footballnsw.com.au.
?Training with Argentine giants Boca Juniors during the period Diego Armando Maradona was there would have to be one of my finest moments.
?To have been able to train alongside one of the greatest, if not best footballer ever was the ultimate.
?He was my childhood hero so to have gotten tips of Maradona was unbelievable.
?Also playing in Europe would go down as a great moment and of course representing my country.
?The feeling of representing Australia and wearing that Green and Gold was truly a special moment for me which I will long remember forever.?
With so many great memories, asked whether he left the professional game with any regrets Mendez replied.
?I?ve got quite a few, I guess sometimes I rushed into things when really I should have sat down and planned it out better when I was younger.
?Injuries played a toll on my career also and I think I could have managed them better but I learnt throughout the years on what to do in bettering myself in that department.
?I know everyone has regrets but I can safely say that I learned many lessons from all of them.?

-Exclusive by Mark Stavroulakis