Aberdeen have confirmed this evening that Tomáš Černý has left the club.
The Dons goalkeeper is hanging up his gloves after a knee injury which has forced him into early retirement.
He told the club website: “My career comes to an end. It is not the way I planned it, but my knee injury means I’m not able to take part in regular training and matches, and the Club needs a goalkeeper now. Given the current situation I feel it is the right time to retire and focus on the future.
“I’d like to say a massive thank you to the manager for bringing me up to Aberdeen and to Gordon Marshall, a brilliant goalkeeping coach and person. To all my teammates who have been fantastic with me, all the staff at Pittodrie and Cormack Park that I’ve been in contact with regularly and the fans who have been brilliant with me. I’ll forever be grateful for the opportunity to be part of this amazing football club.
“I’d have liked to play a few more games for Aberdeen, but it is credit to Joe Lewis, he has been terrific, very consistent and producing great performances week in week out.
“Over the past two and half years at the Club I’ve made some fantastic memories that will stay with me forever and more importantly established friendships that I hope will continue to thrive.
“Looking back at my 20 years in professional football, I’m very happy and grateful for what I have achieved. Growing up in a small town in the Czech Republic I never imagined I’d end up playing top-flight football in four different countries and rack up over 400 games in professional football as well as being involved in Czech national teams at various levels and taking part in two European Championships, at U19 and U21 level.
“I’m excited about my next chapter in my life which is becoming a PE teacher. I will start my postgraduate teaching training in August and I’m planning to teach in the North-east of Scotland where I’m now very settled with my family and hoping to have a positive influence on the lives of young people.
“I’m also excited at the prospect of helping to develop young goalkeepers at Aberdeen FC in the future and giving something back to the club and wider community.
“I wish the Club, the manager, players, and staff success for the rest of the season and in the future. I’m looking forward to coming to Pittodrie to watch the team when this is possible again.”
Manager Derek McInnes added: “Since his arrival, Tomas has been a model professional and his love for the Club is clear for all to see.
“It’s pleasing to hear Tomas and his family will remain in the area, and hopefully in the future the Club, and our young, developing goalkeepers, can benefit from his experience.
“Given his deep affection for AFC I know he won’t be a stranger.”