• Trailblazer ... Melbourne Heart and Australia midfielder Richard Garcia (Getty Images)
Richard Garcia's blistering form on the right side of Melbourne Heart's midfield should encourage reluctant Australians who play abroad to finish their career in Australia.
By
SBS: Philip Micallef

19 Jan 2013 - 2:26 PM  UPDATED 4 Feb 2013 - 8:07 PM

The Australia international has made a smooth transition from British football to the A-League after signing for the Victorian club in the last off-season.

He has been one of Heart's most consistent and dangerous players, even scoring five goals in the process.

Garcia has adapted well to Australia's special conditions, strengthening the theory that Aussie players who have spent most of their careers abroad should not necessarily feel like they have stepped down in status by playing in the A-League.

Garcia is playing some of the best football of his career in Melbourne and he is enjoying every minute of it.

"I know what the game's about here and even though I've played in the Premier League, the transition has not been that hard," the Perth-born star said.

"And I'm sure that guys who might find themselves at a crossroads in Europe would like to know that Australia's A-League is a very good option career-wise.

"Every year it is getting stronger and stronger.

"So the league is a great opportunity for many Aussie players who play abroad and if they come back this of course would make the competition even more competitive.

"I don't think players from Europe would think that by coming here they would lower their standards.

"If anything, their main concern would be the expectation placed on them.

"But then again it's all to do with personal choices, meaning what you want to do with your career."

Garcia said he was more than happy with his decision to trade Hull City for the A-League.

"I am enjoying my football here but in truth I always enjoy playing wherever I am," he said.

"I love playing and I'm just lucky to have the best job in the world."

Garcia's eye-catching form has re-established his Socceroos credentials and he was rewarded two months ago by being picked in Australia's squad that won a qualifying competition for the East Asian Cup in Korea Republic in July.

Garcia played for Australia in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and he still dreams of making it a double in Brazil in 2014.

He would be a favourite to be picked in Holger Osieck's squad for the friendly match against Romania in Malaga, Spain, on 7 February (AEDT).

"I don't expect to walk into the Socceroos side," he said.

"But I've always made it known that I wanted to play for Australia for as much as I can.

"So making the next squad is what I'd like to do and and hopefully being selected in the final squad for the World Cup would be my dream."

Garcia has no doubt that his decision to quit the English Championship and come home may have played a part in his return to the national team.

"I would probably put that down to my decision to leave Britain to come here, yes," he said.

"It's part of the reason people know more about me now because sometimes when you are overseas you get lost and they do not seem to know what you are doing.

"So playing here is good for me in that respect."

Garcia's ability to come from the blind side of opposition defences has served him well this season.

He always seems to be in the right place at the right time to score vital goals, as he was on Friday night when he picked up a pass from Matt Thompson to give Heart a 2-0 lead against Adelaide United.

"It's all part of the game," he explained.

"You have to make sure you are available to get the ball.

"Fortunately this has been happening in front of goal and I have been scoring goals.

"We have a target of making the top six and in finals things can go either way.

"I'm confident that Heart will get even better and make the top six."