Milligan sees Socceroos success ahead

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For much of his club and international career, Mark Milligan has tried to avoid getting pegged as a defender eager to play as the midfield general.

But after starring as a centre-back at the World Cup in June, he's happy to sign up for more.

Milligan is the longest-serving Socceroo at Graham Arnold's disposal for Australia against Kuwait on Tuesday morning (AEDT) and the Asian Cup defence this coming January.

Milligan admits he thought about following Tim Cahill and captain Mile Jedinak walking out the exit door after the Socceroos' Russian campaign.

Instead, after travelling into camp in Turkey last month, he's recommitted to the cause.

"What Arnie and his group are trying to do is very exciting," he said.

"With quite a young group and quite a good mix of youth and experience now, the future is really bright.

"Arnie coming in with that winning mentality, he's breathing that.

"This group is going to be very successful, the Asian Cup around the corner, it's something I want to be a part of."

Australia left the World Cup at the group stage but Milligan departed Russia with his reputation very much enhanced.

It was enough for Scottish club Hibernian to take a chance on the utility at age 33.

That fulfilled Milligan's long-held dream to play in Europe which had previously been stymied by visa requirements and club commitments.

He's repaid Hibs with a number of fine performances as an anchoring midfielder, helping the Edinburgh club to the top two of the Scottish Premiership.

That should be no surprise. Milligan was one of Ange Postecoglou's midfield enforcers as Australia won the 2015 Asian Cup.

He won the Joe Marston Medal as a box-to-box man in Melbourne Victory's 2015 grand final smashing of Sydney FC.

But in the twilight of his international career, he's keen to resume his partnership with Trent Sainsbury at the back.

"All discussions I've had with Arnie is that I'll be around the centre-back position which I'm more than happy with," he said.

"I really enjoyed being able to focus on that and prepare as a central defender in the lead up to the World Cup.

"That's where I'll be focusing on with the national team."

Given the departure of Jedinak and Cahill, Milligan is also in the frame to captain Australia.

"Arnie has grabbed a handful of us to have a chat about improving our culture and how he sees it going forward," he said.

"Naturally I'll step into a little bit more of a leadership role (but) there's quite a few (captaincy) options. I'm just excited to be a part of this."

Source AAP