Mile Jedinak says he is ready to throw himself into pre-season training with Crystal Palace after enjoying his longest break in two years.
The midfielder was granted additional time off by Palace manager Tony Pulis after leading Australia at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, where the 29-year-old played every minute of all three games for national team coach Ange Postecoglou.
That was despite Jedinak having battled back from a groin injury suffered at the end of the 2013-14 Premier League season, returning just in time to feature on world football’s biggest stage.
Speaking to Palace’s official website, Jedinak expressed his gratitude for being afforded the opportunity to recharge his batteries as his club colleagues were put through their paces.
“It gave me a little bit more time to spend with my family,” he said.
“It’s just about switching off and giving yourself a break, not just physically, but mentally as well. Over the last two years, it’s been my longest break.
“There was a lot of mental fatigue going on there, but now I’m back and ready to go.”
Palace finished 11th in the Premier League last season, defying expectations of a swift return to the second tier after earning promotion through the Championship play-offs.
It is unlikely to get any easier for Pulis and his players in 2014-15, but Jedinak is full of optimism for the campaign ahead after being reunited with his team-mates.
“It’s always about the preparation, the training and just being around the boys, being around everybody again,” he said.
“It’s great to see all the faces and hear all the stories from over the summer.
“But we are going to be working really hard, I know they’ve worked really hard already in Austria – they’ve told me so themselves – which is great.”
Following their tour of the United States and a friendly against Brentford, Palace kick-off the Premier League season at Arsenal on August 16.