Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton couldn't have picked a better time to come back to Australian football.
We-ve got to be happy with the amount of talk about the A-League at the moment - and not just the fans we-ve already got but the people on the street, talking about Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton. These are two major names for our league and it-s come at a perfect time.
First and foremost they-ll be hugely excited to be back home. I know from experience, you love being home, you enjoy the experience and you-ve got a massive spring in your step.
These boys are both excellent professionals who-ll want to come back and do well for themselves, for their team and for their supporters. It-ll certainly put extra bums on seats and give our game that extra bit of exposure.
They-re two very different players who-ll bring different things. Brett is a good honest pro who-ll work hard for the team and get through large amount of work. But we may also get to see Brett Emerton with a spring in his step, ready to really dominate and have a presence in games - although in wider areas, he still has that class where he can make a difference for Sydney.
It-s no secret there-s been general disappointment from everyone involved with Sydney. I imagine Viteslav Lavicka would have expected a lot better that what was achieved last season. He-s a good manager with fantastic experience but the end of the season would have been a blessing for Sydney, just to go away, regroup, and come back to get more sessions into the boys for a new season.
On the other hand, Harry-s a match-winner; he can turn a game on its head. He-s gone to a team known to play free-flowing attacking football and create a lot of chances - although last season they were criticised a little more defensively.
In regards to Harry and his fitness concerns, it-s just unfortunate that when he was younger he didn-t get some of the treatment he needed. But he certainly looks after himself and works extremely hard, so he-ll always put himself in the best position to perform.
It-s a major thing for Harry, being able to stay on top of his body. I experienced this coming back; you don-t have the same stress and strains of high intensity football week in, week out, games coming fast and furious. There-s more of a controlled weekly schedule here; you-re having a nice build-up through the week for Friday and you hit the straps at the weekend.
However, I have to disagree with Harry saying the players will be out to kick him and referees will be against him - I think everybody-s supportive and wants to see him and Emmo do really, really well. They-re going to have support, not people against them.
With so much attention both Harry and Emmo will be under a lot of scrutiny and if they-re not producing the standard people are expecting, there-ll be people looking to have a pop. But these players have got so much experience, this is something they-ve dealt with their whole careers. I-m confident they-ll come back and have huge impacts on not only their teams but the A-League season as a whole.
The Other New Recruits... Ange Postecoglou is very set in his ways in regards to the style of football he wants to play; he wants a free-flowing style built on close passing, movement and agility, so he-s looking for players that can fulfil those roles. But time will tell. Brisbane had so much success last season; their new guys need to hit the ground running.
There-s a lot of pressure on Brisbane this season - last season everyone was fit, no suspensions, everything was perfect and they had one of those runs but I believe a lot of teams gave them too much respect last season. If you do apply pressure in the right areas you-ll get some joy and if you press Brisbane in their own half you-ll get a lot of opportunities.
Adelaide brought back Jonny McKain and Dario Vidosic; Gold Coast have just gone quietly about their business but they-ve got some great young talent coming through - James Brown, Ben Halloran, Chris Harold - they-ve got some really exciting young players. And Dylan Macallister - if you get him fit he-ll call any central defender in this league a lot of problems.
Perth Glory have made some very, very good signings but it-ll be very interesting to see how that all comes together. Perth have been talked up over the last couple of seasons, but trophies aren-t won on paper. Ian Ferguson has a very good squad, if he can keep them all fit and well. It-s going to be very close this year.
Aussies Abroad: Nabbout, Urawa Red Diamonds win Emperors Cup final
Andrew Nabbout emerged an Emperors Cup Final winner with Urawa Red Diamonds after the J-League outfit defeated Vegalta Sendai 1-0 yesterday evening. Nabbout was an unused substitute as the Reds clinched the trophy thanks to an early strike from Tomoya Ugajin. It is Urawa’s
'Amazing reward': Cahill to feature in FIFA World Football Museum
A pair of Tim Cahill’s boots will join items like the FIFA World Cup trophy, match balls from some of football’s biggest occasions and rare match-worn shirts in FIFA’s World Football Museum in Switzerland. The Caltex Socceroos legend revealed on Instagram on Sunday morning (AE
Boyle given 'all clear' following 'nasty collision'
Caltex Socceroos attacker Martin Boyle has been given the “all clear” following a head knock in Hibernian’s Scottish Premiership win at Hamilton Academical on Sunday morning (AEDT). Boyle needed lengthy treatment before half time after clashing with Hamilton’s Gary Woods and s
Aussies Abroad: Rogic helps Celtic to big win, Mooy suffers late loss
Caltex Socceroos midfielder Tom Rogic provided an assist as Celtic thumped Kilmarnock 5-1 to leapfrog their opponents and move to the top of the Scottish Premiership table. But Huddersfield Town suffered a heartbreaking defeat, with Arsenal needing a late moment of magic to do