Australia striker Alex Brosque has a special motivation to win the Emperor's Cup in Japan with his J.League club Shimizu S-Pulse.
Brosque has just ended his first championship in Japan after leaving Sydney FC last January.
Shimizu finished 10th in the league but is still in the national cup competition and on Saturday it takes on JEF United at home in the round of 16.
The winner of the cup will play in the 2012 AFC Champions League and Brosque could be playing against his old club Brisbane Roar - then known as Queensland Roar - in the group phase starting in March.
"It would be very nice to play Brisbane, I'm excited about the possibility," Brosque said as he prepares for the weekend clash against fellow Australian player Mark Milligan's JEF.
"Brisbane were my first club in the A-League in 2005-2006 and they have a good team although they have been struggling lately.
"We really want to take the cup so as to win something this year and play in the next Champions League.
"Some of the big teams take the cup a bit lightly and some of their foreigners go home so I reckon we have a big chance.
"Hopefully we have a good game against my old mate Millsy's team."
Brosque, who has broken into Holger Osieck's Australia squad, said he was more than satisfied with his overall performance in his first season abroad.
After a few rounds the needs of the team forced Iranian coach Afshin Ghotbi to convert Brosque from a striker into an attacking midfielder with a degree of success, so much so that he is likely to stay in that role in the coming season.
"When I joined the club my aim was to play as many games as possible and try to break into the team and establish myself," he said.
"I ended up playing in 33 of the 34 matches of the season because I was suspended for one match and I scored a few goals too (seven) so all in all I think I did well.
"Looking back, I can't complain with how it went but having said that there are a few things you can get away with in a first season with a club.
"You go through some rough patches and your form sort of goes up and down because it is your first year so next season hopefully I will improve on this and step up a little bit."
Brosque however has no doubt that one year in Japan has already made him a better player, which is also good news for the Socceroos as they try to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
"J.League players are very sharp and quick, even at training," he explained.
"That automatically improves your game especially my awareness and speed of thought and knowing what to do with the ball before it comes to you and always trying to see things a couple of passes in advance.
"I don't think I've become a great player overnight or anything like that but since I've come here I am a bit better, yes."
Brosque, who is on a two-year contract with Shimizu, is happily settled in the city of Shizuoka, which is an hour away by train from Tokyo.
"I am 28 now and I think there are still a few seasons left in me," he said.
"If next season goes as well as this year I have an option for a third, so we shall see.
"My wife and I both love the country and its people but we also know that we want to come back home one day.
"And hopefully it will be my home team Sydney FC."
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