Melbourne Heart's newest recruit Richard Garcia is adamant that Australia's notorious tall poppy syndrome won't affect his performances in the A-League.
Garcia, who played for Australia in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, has called time on his career in England to sign a one-year contract with John Aloisi's Heart.
Garcia, 30, has played 57 games in the Premier League with West Ham United and Hull City in a 13-year stint in Britain that included spells with Leyton Orient and Colchester United and he is glad to join Heart and become part of the growing A-League.
He knows, however, that with his reputation comes the expectation.
”I'm sure I will be under scrutiny and it's unfortunate that this could happen but I will be prepared for it,” he said.
”It takes a little while to adjust to the A-League and play in a warmer climate.
”Some people are quick to judge because they do not realise that players coming from overseas need time to settle in.
”I suppose the bottom line is that if you produce the goods you'll have no problems but sometimes it takes a little longer to do so.
”Everyone is trying to prepare me for the A-League and with six weeks left to the start of the league I have enough time to get accustomed to the playing style of my team.”
Garcia said his decision to join Heart was simple and straightforward.
”They sold me the vision of what sort of club they want to be and that was pretty much it,” Garcia said.
”It gave me a good feeling and made me want to come here.
”I have never crossed paths with Aloisi but for me it will be good to work with someone who has had such a great career in the game.”
Garcia said he had heard and seen enough of the passion and colour surrounding the Melbourne derby to make him want to be part of it.
”The derby looks like a fantastic occasion and it would be great for me to be involved in it,” he said.
”I'm sure that it will continue to be a big and special game in Melbourne yet football is about the whole season not one game although a derby is often the icing on the cake.”
Garcia made his name as a dashing right-sided midfielder or striker yet Aloisi intends to use the Perth-born star as a central midfielder, in a move designed to utilise his experience and know-how.
Garcia said a central midfield role was something he would be able to handle.
”I have spent most of my career on the right flank but I have played in central midfield before,” he explained.
”I made my Premier League debut for West Ham in the middle so this is nothing new for me.
”It's just about getting familiar again with that role in the Heart team and growing into it really.”
Garcia admitted that he still had hopes of returning to the Socceroos fold after last playing for the national team against Egypt in late 2010.
”I don't know if I have a future with the Socceroos, hopefully if I play well I can catch the eye of Holger Osieck and get back in the squad or be an option,” he said.
”Anyone would love to play for his country, I'm no different.”
Aussie fans would be forgiven for knowing very little about this unassuming player whose profile is so low he often goes unnoticed.
His off-field persona matches his performances on the field, which were characterised by plenty of fetching and carrying and unselfish running.
”I never went out of my way to promote myself because I always wanted to concentrate on my football,” he said.
”Maybe occasionally I should have gone the other way and talked myself up a bit more.
”But, really, I never minded being behind the scenes and keeping a low profile.
”I'm not sure how much media I might have to do now but I would be comfortable with it anyway.”
The A-League will make its LIVE free-to-air TV debut next season with the blockbuster clash between Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets on Friday 11 October on SBS 2.