Kewell keen to stick with Victory

Melbourne Victory star Harry Kewell says he would like to stay with the Hyundai A-League club next season.

Melbourne Victory star Harry Kewell says he would like to stay with the Hyundai A-League club next season.

The 33-year-old arrived in Melbourne to much fanfare in August 2011 and scored eight goals from 25 appearances throughout a disappointing season for the club.

He initially signed a three-year deal with the club, although both parties had the option to cease the contract at the end of his first season playing in Australia.

With Victory yet to appoint a manager and a club from Kewell's native western Sydney set to compete in the A-League in the 2012-13 season, widespread speculation has surrounded his future.

But he declared his intent to stay with Victory in a wide-ranging interview with Fox Sports FC on Tuesday night.

"It would be tough," Kewell said when asked if he would consider a switch to the A-League's newest club.

"I was born and bred there (western Sydney) and it's always nice to eventually go home.

"But I have to say, I do love Melbourne. Melbourne has accepted me as part of their society and part of their family. Even my kids actually said to me, 'We're going to miss this place'. That means a lot for my kids because they love their home."

Although Kewell is keen to stay with Victory, he insists the club has a lot of work to do before he recommits.

"There's a lot of things that need to be done. I still need to know what exactly is happening at Melbourne," he said.

"I need to know who they are appointing, what players are going, what players are coming in ... we don't know nothing yet.

"There's a lot of things that Melbourne need to sort out but if they get it right, I'm more than happy to come back because I do enjoy playing for Melbourne."

Kewell claimed he 'would sign tomorrow' if all his conditions were met.

The Qantas Socceroo also reflected on his first A-League season, praising the standard of the competition in comparison to his expectations.

"It wasn't what I expected," he said.

"From the information that I received from players that have played in it, they said it was kind of slow paced, it wasn't that quick, that the athleticism wasn't as great.

"I came over here with a picture. I knew it was going to be hard, but I didn't realise how hard it was going to be. The talent is there, the fitness is there, the skill is there. I really enjoyed it. It was tough, but I really enjoyed it."

Kewell said he felt his arrival into the dressing room could have unsettled his team-mates, but rejected suggestions that it affected performances.

"No. Not at all," he said.

"In fact I actually think it (his arrival) raised it. I was told in training that they've never seen the boys train as hard and they've never seen the boys work as hard. I was buzzing with that."

Victory's 2011-12 season was dramatic both on and off the field, as manager Mehmet Durakovic - formerly in charge of the club's youth team - was sacked in January, with Northern Irishman Jim Magilton stepping in to replace him as caretaker manager.

And although Magilton opted out of applying for the position of the club's next permanent boss, Kewell feels the club's new manager needs to be another person with significant football experience abroad.

"You don't want to see that (Durakovic's sacking)," he said.

"He's the first person in the firing line and it is a shame because I think some of the time we could have looked at ourselves. Even myself, I could have done better."

"Some other players, instead of doing that, they could have done this and it cost us games."

"When I first come in (to the club) it was a little bit haywire. It just wasn't the way I am used too. When he (Magilton) arrived, he kind of saw that as well and he wanted to change it. To see the professionalism come back in, that's something I will be 100 percent behind."

"They (Victory) need someone that has got a different mindset to what the A-League has. If the A-League wants to improve, I believe they need to get a little bit more experience."

Kewell also spoke about the Socceroos and believes that qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup will not be easy.

"We are going to find it very difficult to qualify," he said.

"With the teams of Asia playing better and better football now, we are going to find it hard. We are ranked number one (in Asia) and we can't go any higher."

The former Liverpool and Galatasaray attacker has played his part in five FIFA World Cup qualifying campaigns, but feels age is no barrier in his bid to represent his country for third time at a World Cup.

"I believe that it doesn't matter what age you are because in this day and age you are seeing great players play at 35, 36, 37 in the Champions League and for great teams," he said.

"As long as you can still cope with the fitness and you can back it up, I think a lot of managers don't really care what age you are."