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Kewell in line to skipper Heart

3 July 2013

Harry Kewell Melbourne Heart

Skipper material ... Harry Kewell is being considered for the captaincy at Melbourne Heart (Getty)

Melbourne Heart is seriously considering making Harry Kewell captain for the upcoming A-League season.

Socceroos star Kewell officially linked up with his new club on Wednesday, training with teammates for the first time as he attempts to kick-start his career.

And the prospect of the 34-year-old being made captain of his new club looms large - coach John Aloisi admitting it was an option.

Four of the Heart's most senior players - former skippers Fred, Simon Colosimo and Matt Thompson, and goalkeeper Clint Bolton have gone.

A fifth, Socceroo Richard Garcia, looks certain to exit - probably to Perth Glory - within the next fortnight.

That leaves Kewell as one of few experienced heads in a young squad.

"We'll make that decision come the end of the pre-season," said Aloisi, Kewell's former Socceroos teammate and the prime mover in bringing him to the club.

"Harry is one of the older players, and I class him as a leader anyway. He's one of these players that always sets a good example."

Kewell has never been a regular captain at club level.

But he did captain the Socceroos in four matches in 2008, including a superb performance in which he netted the winner in a World Cup qualifier against Iraq in Brisbane.

He admits it would be an honour to lead the Heart and would jump at the opportunity to do so.

"If it falls to you, it's an honour. It's not an easy role, but there's a few players here that are up to it," Kewell said.

"If it does fall to me, I'll take it, and I'll thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to lead this young team out."

Kewell said he was confident of making an impact in the A-League this season despite playing just three competitive matches in the past 15 months.

Kewell quit Melbourne Victory at the end of the 2011-12 season to head back to England for family reasons.

Unable to secure a deal in Europe throughout last season, Kewell played just three time for Qatar club Al Gharafa in the interim.

But Kewell is banking on a long pre-season leading into the first A-League match in October against former club Victory to give him the fitness he requires.

"I think I've come at the right time. It gives me the opportunity to work hard for three months solid before the season starts to get my body right for game one," Kewell said.

"Even when I wasn't playing, I was still working out six times a week. Obviously not to the intensity of a football match, but I kept on ticking myself over.

"If I get a good pre-season, stay fit, I can last up there with the best. The body's good."

Kewell insisted he would have attempted to restart his career regardless of whether Australia had qualified for next year's World Cup finals.

He said playing well for the Heart was his top priority, rather than winning back his national team spot for Brazil.

"To play good football for the Melbourne Heart, that's first and foremost. Anything beyond that is a bonus," Kewell said.

Kewell's wife Sheree and their four children will soon join him in Melbourne.

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