The veteran star does not anticipate being the target of abuse from supporters of his old club, and intends to use it as extra motivation if they do single him out
Harry Kewell says he does not expect Melbourne Victory fans to boo him when he turns out for Melbourne Heart in the eagerly anticipated derby on October 12, and has warned any would-be hecklers not to get him fired up.
The 34-year-old signed for Heart in June to end what was effectively a season out of the game after leaving Victory to return to England for family reasons in 2012, with his only playing time this year coming via a three-game guest stint at Qatari club Al-Gharafa.
Kewell's first competitive game for Heart is sure to be one of the fiercest Melbourne derbies to date given the star player's decision to cross the city divide.
However, the hostile reception he is sure to receive from Victory fans apparently will not bother Kewell, with the forward giving his previous employers this ominous warning:
"Why would they boo me? I went [to England] for family reasons. You know what, the more they boo, the better I play," Kewell said to SEN.
Talk of a potential recall to the Socceroos set-up has dominated the agenda since Kewell's decision to sign for Heart.
But while thoughts of featuring at the World Cup in Brazil remains at the back of his mind, Kewell understands he must rediscover his form at club level first before pushing for an international recall.
"As a footballer, as a person, you just want to go there [the World Cup] because it is going to be amazing," said Kewell.
"But I think first and foremost, I've got to play well for the Heart and if you play well for your club then you have a chance to play for your country. If you're not playing week in week out for your club then you'll have no chance."
The former Leeds and Liverpool star last played for Australia in a World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia in early 2012 but missed out on selection for the East Asian Cup in South Korea, where an inexperienced Socceroos squad finished last in a tournament featuring Japan, South Korea and China.
While conceding it was disappointing not to be with the team for the competition, Kewell believes Australia coach Holger Osieck made the right call in not selecting him due to his lack of playing time in the last year.
"He knows that I'm playing for Heart, he knows what I'm capable of doing but I think he made the right decision beforehand [East Asia Cup]," Kewell said.
"I wasn't ready to play in these games and as much as I want to play, it's a privilege to play for your country, but I think he made the right decision.
"The only thing I can do now is not only prove to myself but prove to the nation that I'm ready to step up and go to Brazil but first and foremost my job is for the Melbourne Heart."