North making giant strides

Newcastle defender Jade North is hoping his assured performance in the Socceroos World Cup qualifier against China will attract interest from overseas clubs.

North was one of two A-League players to start the match in Kunming and his accomplished performance drew praise from coach Pim Verbeek.

While the Dutchman was loath to single out individuals in what he thought was a strong team performance, he allowed himself to make special mention of North's display.

"I had to mention Jade North because he was the most inexperienced player if you look through the rest of the team," Verbeek said at Sydney Airport.

"He had a great performance. I think it is especially good for him to play with (Socceroos captain) Lucas Neill... I was very pleased with him."

North relished the opportunity to play alongside Neill.

"It felt great playing alongside Lucas and a few other boys, it was a great experience and it made me step up and it showed them what I can really do, I was very happy to be out there," North said.

He admitted he was eyeing a move to Europe after displaying his talents in the World Cup shop window.

"Absolutely, I will use this as a stepping stone to get somewhere else, because I've done everything I can possibly do in Australia now," said North, who was part of Newcastle's grand final winning team.

"My next challenge is to go overseas hopefully after playing against China. I've just got to stay positive and do everything I can to get myself back in the team again."

North still has one year left on his Newcastle contract but hoped the club would look kindly on him if an overseas team showed interest in his services.

Capping off what he described as a "massive season" for him, North was also thrilled at becoming the first indigenous captain of the Socceroos during last week's game against Singapore.