Monday, 12 August 2013 1:55 PM
Brisbane Roar midfielder Matt McKay has revealed Mark Milligan’s breakthrough into the Socceroos from the Hyundai A-League, inspired him to return to Australia’s national competition.
Milligan was critical to the Socceroos’ successful qualification campaign for next year’s World Cup finals in Brazil, starting Australia’s last three qualifying matches in June, after an impressive campaign with Melbourne Victory.
That success story inspired McKay to return to the A-League with his former club Brisbane after he was released by Chinese Super League outfit Changchun Yatai last month.
McKay revealed on Monday he had spoken with Socceroos head coach Holger Osieck and claimed the 64-year-old German had approved the move to the Roar.
“You know, I had a good chat with Holger and he was very positive,” McKay said.
“You know, he’s got a lot of time for the A-League and you can see with Milligan, (he) came in and did a good job in the (last) three qualifiers and I broke into the Socceroos from the A-League.
“So I’ve got no problems being here.”
McKay left Brisbane after the Roar won their maiden A-League championship in 2011 and signed for Rangers in the Scottish Premier League.
But after a disappointing pair of seasons where he played in Scotland, South Korea and China, McKay believes it is the right time to come back to the A-League.
“The Roar were very professional in how they approached things and I felt very wanted here and it’s a club that’s going places again,” McKay said.
“It’s (the A-League) improved since I was here two years ago and I want to be part of that again and I’m delighted to be back.
“Ever since I left I was thinking about the day I’d come back.”
The 30-year-old former Roar captain confirmed central defender Matt Smith will remain skipper in the 2013/14 season, while McKay added he will play in midfield for Brisbane.
Roar head coach Mike Mulvey has assembled a strong midfield group, which also includes Thomas Broich, Liam Miller and Luke Brattan.
With McKay having played predominantly as a left full-back for the Socceroos, there had been speculation he would sign for a club that would play him in defence so he could gain more experience in the position ahead of next year’s World Cup finals in Brazil.
But McKay denied he will play in the back four under Mulvey.
“Yeah, I’ll be a midfielder here, we’ve got two great left backs as it is,” McKay said.
“I enjoy whatever role I’m given with the Socceroos.
“I’ve played three different roles and I’ve enjoyed that and at Brisbane, wherever I’m needed to play, I’ll do a job.”