Brisbane Roar recruit Jade North said his was elated to return to the A-League to play for the reigning two-time champions.
The 31-year-old Socceroos defender completed his first training session with Brisbane on Tuesday morning after signing from Japanese side Consadole Sapporo.
North began his professional career with the Brisbane Strikers in 1998. His most recent stint in the A-League was in the 2010-11 season with Wellington Phoenix.
North said returning to Brisbane was an easy decision, for football reasons and also because it will give him the chance to promote indigenous football development in Australia.
“Back as a young boy when I was 16 Brisbane gave me my first chance, back in the old NSL and I’ve come back now at 31 years of age, so I’m looking forward to getting back on the pitch and getting back to where it all started,” North said.
“Brisbane are a good footballing side, and also to work with the FFA to help create indigenous programs off the park – to me that’s one of the biggest reasons to come back, just to try and give everything I’ve learned from that game, to give back to not only indigenous kids but kids in those sort of programs, just to help them out.”
North said he does not believe the reigning champions are a very different side to previous campaigns.
“I don’t think they’re struggling. I’ve kept close tabs when I was watching the A-League back in Japan and Brisbane Roar always dominated the games, they were just a little bit unlucky in front of goal,” he said.
“Everything’s there, the right make-up, they just need a bit more flow and once we get the confidence back in the group, and I think once that comes back into play, I think it’ll be a great team.”
North explained he does not expect to be in the Roar first-team until he is fully fit, but hopes his presence will have a positive impact on the squad.
“I’m concentrating on getting myself fit. I’ve come out of the J-League season and been on holidays, so I need to do whatever I can, as fast as I can to get myself fit,” he said.
“I’m always ready to get back on the park, but physically you’ve got to allow yourself a little bit of time, you can’t be silly about it and try and come back in when you’re not 100 percent fit.
“Hopefully I bring something different to the team. If it is a little bit stale hopefully I can freshen things up a little bit… just having a different sort of personality around the changing rooms or bringing something different on the pitch,” he said.
“Teams go through those sort of periods, and also teams go through transition periods of losing players as well so it’s all about having the right balance and making sure everyone’s on the park to do the job.”