Socceroo legend Josip Skoko says his temporary comeback to feature in the Hawaiian Islands Invitational hasn’t sparked interest in a more permanent return to professional football.
Socceroo legend Josip Skoko says his temporary comeback to feature in the Hawaiian Islands Invitational hasn-t sparked interest in a more permanent return to professional football.
The 36-year old will pull the boots on once more today as Melbourne Heart FC faces off against K-League giants Busan I-Park.
Providing an experienced head in the central midfield, Skoko presence is undoubtedly a boost to the Red and White, as the side seeks to make its mark on the international stage.
Having trained with Victorian State League 1 side North Geelong Warriors over the last few months, Skoko said he was approached by Head Youth Coach John Aloisi to feature in the tournament, with his former national side teammate looking to add dose of experience to his fledgling outfit.
“JA asked me to help out and add experience to the youth team, so I thought, why not? I'm not out of retirement, I've been having a kick at North Geelong, so I'm still retired professionally,” he said.
While Heart-s expectations are modest, the four-team tournament offers its emerging stars the chance to test their wares against elite opposition, with either 2010 MLS Champions, Colorado Rapids, or Japan-s Yokohama FC looming in the next round.
Skoko believes the tournament will prove an eye-opening experience for the younger members of the side, exposing them to a higher standard of competition in addition to the trials and tribulations associated with spending an extended period in camp abroad.
“Trips like this give the boys great experience,” he said.
“Some wouldn't have played overseas before, some wouldn't have played in front of big crowds, and some wouldn't have been away for so long.
“John's striving to develop players for the senior team and every time one steps up to the seniors, like Craig did, it's a success for him and that's the whole idea of the youth team.”