Clubless Australia international captain Lucas Neill should consider a move back to his homeland and the A-League, says ex-Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Bosnich
|By JOHN GRECO
Former Australia goalkeeper Mark Bosnich says he hopes national team captain Lucas Neill will return home and play in the A-League after he was dumped by his UAE club.
Neill is on the lookout for a new home after Al Wasl decided to release the 34-year-old in order to sign Iraqi international Ahmed Ibrahim.
The veteran central defender has showed little interest in moving his career to Australia and would need to take a major pay cut on previous contracts to do so, but Bosnich would love to see Neill return home and contribute to what has been a thriving A-League season.
Several high-profile Socceroos have also in the past been reluctant to return to the A-League in the twilight of their career for fear of not living up to their lofty reputations.
But Bosnich said that should not be a factor and wants to see as many of Australia's best players return to play at home before they finish up their careers.
"You put your reputation on the line every week," the former Manchester United and Socceroos shot-stopper told Sportal on Friday.
"If they think like that they've got certain problems mentally and they don't think they're quite the same player.
"But if you back yourself as a player there's no problem coming back here.
"If you don't fancy yourself for a full season just come back and do some guest games. It's not a problem at all to finish where you started.
"They (Socceroos stars) can contribute a lot here. Not only on the pitch but off the pitch and it's very important the best players do come back here and contribute because we haven't got many."
Neill has always expressed a desire to lead Australia to the World Cup in Brazil in 2014 and will be desperate to find a club as soon as possible to keep in top shape.
Asked if Neill should look to move away from the Middle East now this deal has been terminated, Bosnich said: "The bottom line is when you're earning top dollar like Lucas would be, if you're not performing week in week out they will get someone else a lot cheaper.
"It's a very difficult thing because once you earn that type of money it's very difficult for anyone to take a bit of a pay cut.
"But you've got to make sure that you're one of the best players every week. Or else this is what happens."