Socceroos captain Lucas Neill believes a reinvigorated Mark Bresciano could add a new dimension to Australia's quest to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Bresciano, 32, asked not to be picked for the Socceroos after the 2010 World Cup but will return from an 18-month absence in Wednesday's 2014 qualifier against Saudi Arabia in Melbourne.
Neill is better equipped than most to gauge Bresciano's form and mindset as both ply their trade in the United Arab Emirates Pro League.
And the Australia captain, who plays for third-placed Al Jazira, said Bresciano had been back to his best with second-placed Al Nasr and was "like a kid being picked for the first time" after his first call-up under Holger Osieck.
"I can tell you from a first-hand opinion that he (Bresciano) has been brilliant," Neill said on Friday, after launching his investment in the MR SOCCER youth training program alongside former national team-mate Mark Robertson.
"He's really enjoying his football, you can see that and I hope you get a chance to see that on Wednesday.
"He's scored eight goals from centre midfield (for Al Nasr) and that's not easy to do.
"I hope he gets a chance to play for the Socceroos and comes back and takes that chance because he's a valuable asset to the Socceroos, he's still got a lot to offer and his experience could add a dimension that we need as a Socceroos team going to Brazil."
Neill's decision to switch from Europe to the Middle East last year raised a few eyebrows, but the 33-year-old was confident he would be able to maintain his high standards with the national team.
The former Blackburn and West Ham defender has found the score sheet four times this season, something he hopes signals his first international goal is not far away.
"I know where the net is now," Neill said.
"I've got to bring that into my Australian form now and turn a 79 (caps) and 0 (goals) into and 80 and 1.
"... I feel good, I feel strong and I'm in a good environment now where I can control my training, control how I feel every day of the week and I've got a manger that supports that.
"As long a can come back and compete at a level for Australia, I'll consider it to be a very good season on a personal note."
Wednesday's match is a dead rubber from the Socceroos point of view, having already guaranteed top place in the group to progress to the next stage.
But Neill insists the squad, including a handful of fringe players and A-League hopefuls, should treat it as anything but with the first two qualifiers of the next stage, and a friendly with Denmark, looming in June.
"We've got to make sure we don't show complacency," Neill said.
"This game is another game that everybody has to be in Holger's mind pushing for a start, knowing that maybe there's another 10 guys that aren't here that are going to come back.
"There's only enough room (in a squad) for 23 players and there's probably 50 to choose from.
"... No matter who you are, this could be your only chance and you've got to come in and show why you got picked and take that chance."
The MR SOCCER programs focus on School Sports Sessions, Holiday Camps and a Skills Development Program with all clinics personally designed by Neill and Robertson and open to both boys and girls of all fitness and skill levels.
“I feel strongly about wanting to help make a tangible difference to future of not just soccer in Australia but also the general health and well being of our kids,” Neill said.
“Grass roots soccer is where the greatest impact can be made and I would like to pass on the skills that I have developed over the years to participants of all levels.
“MR SOCCER is the best program of its kind around and I wouldn’t have invested my own money if I didn’t believe it was.”
MR SOCCER has already begun working with several Sydney schools with plans to soon expand all over NSW before launching into other states in the future.
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