Official: Lucas Neill returns to the UAE with Al Wasl

The Socceroos captain has had to be patient, but now has a new club in Al Wasl. He has already linked up with his new team-mates at their training camp in Germany

Australia captain Lucas Neill has finally found a new club, joining United Arab Emirates Pro-League club Al Wasl.

Neill had been a free agent since his release from fellow UAE club Al Jazira in June, though the 34-year-old defender had been expected to stay in West Asia.

He now gets that chance with Al Wasl, with manager Bruno Metsu making his mark on the squad after taking over from Diego Maradona in July.

Former Blackburn, West Ham and Galatasary man Neill made 19 appearances and scored three goals for Al Jazira last season, and has now reportedly joined up with Al Wasl's pre-season training camp in Germany.

"Neill has the international experience necessary to be a success and has experience of the league through his time here last season," first-team supervisor Ismail Rashid told The National.

"He is still at the top of his game physically and technically, and, as captain of his country, is a key member of the Australia squad. He has experience of the English Premier League, too, which when you put everything together ensures he adds to the team the level of quality we desire."

Neill's arrival has come at the expense of Omani defender Mohamed Al Shaibah, who has released to make way for the Australian as Al Wasl's designated Asian player.

"He is a good player who possesses very good technical qualities, but the coaching staff were looking for certain attributes in a foreign defender and found those in Lucas Neill," Rashid said.

Despite not having a club for more than two months, Neill had been keeping fit enough to captain his country in the Socceroos' 3-1 loss to Scotland on August 15.

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