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Poom set for one final game

Former Watford goalkeeper will retire after Estonia clash

By Richard Bailey.   Last Updated: 03/06/09 4:26pm

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Poom: Set for final clash

Poom: Set for final clash

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Mart Poom has announced that he will be retiring from professional football after Estonia's friendly against Portugal next Wednesday.

The 37-year-old goalkeeper has had his contract with Watford terminated despite recovering from a serious shoulder injury that has kept him sidelined since September.

The former Derby County shot-stopper is determined to start a new chapter of his life after a playing career that has spanned a total of 17 years.

Poom is hoping to bow out with a bang and make his 120th appearance for his country against the Portuguese before concentrating on his role as Arsenal goalkeeping coach.

"It is sad but also liberating for me," he told Uefa's official website.

"The decision did not come easily but it has now been made. Many wonder why I'm quitting when I've just come back from one of the most serious injuries of my career.

Change profession

"My contract with Watford was terminated and I could have possibly played a couple of more seasons in England, but I have become a member of Arsenal's coaching staff in recent months and have decided it is time to change profession."

As well as coaching at the Emirates, Poom reveals that he also has another project in the pipeline to ensure he remains busy once he hangs up his gloves.

"My family and I intend to return to Estonia in the future but I can finish my coaching courses in England," he added.

"Setting up my own football school in Estonia will be a project for the very near future."

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