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James Willoughby believes the former Sydney FC forward has silenced the doubters in his performances for both club and country

By James Willoughby

When Alex Brosque left Sydney FC for Japan in February 2011, many were quick to criticise the move.

Some thought it was a step down and some thought it was just for money.

But as history has shown, the 28-year-old made a wise move when deciding to join Shimizu S-Pulse.

He had to go through red tape to even join the club in the first place, with Sydney blocking the initial transfer.

Brosque claimed he had the right to go due to a clause in his contract that allowed him to move to an overseas club - a claim rejected by Sydney, who cited the forward's new three-year deal in which the clause was not present.

"Brosque's good form has not been limited to club level."
But the deal did not start until April, meaning an independent arbitrator gave the move the green light and allowed Brosque to join the J-League outfit.

Moving overseas – especially away from your home country – is always a big move and the expectation on Brosque grew given the protracted nature of his transfer.

But he delivered, scoring nine goals in 37 appearances for the club in all competitions last season.

He proved one of his side's main attacking threats during their campaign and showed enough to suggest he can be even better in his second season in Japan.

Brosque's good form has not been limited to club level.

In his last seven appearances for his country he has scored five goals, and his well-taken double against Saudi Arabia on Wednesday highlighted just how much he has improved.

With Australia trailing 1-0, Brosque was presented with a one-on-one chance against the opposition goalkeeper.

Perhaps in years gone, by the opportunity would have gone begging, but Brosque produced an exquisite finish to level the scores.

And at 2-2, his well-placed header gave Australia a well deserved lead in a match they went on to win 4-2.

Brosque had always had that "striker's instinct" but his finishing seems much improved after his time in Japan.

Confidence from manager Holger Osieck has also played a big part in Brosque's impressive form.

"He mentioned it to me when I first came into camp (in December 2010) - he told me that he liked me as a player," Brosque said after Wednesday's match.

"As a player, it's nice to hear those things, nice to have that faith shown in you from a manager. At the end of the day, it is about repaying that faith and showing him why he does pick you. I guess games like tonight make you feel a lot better about being in the squad."

Osieck has consistently picked Brosque and his show of faith was rewarded on Wednesday.

The Socceroos boss will have his fingers crossed that it is not the last time.

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