Australian football could land a major coup next season with former Socceroo star Brett Holman looking to sign with an A-League club in the coming months.
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The 31-year-old midfielder is hoping to end his 14-year foreign foray as early as June when his contract expires with UAE-based Emirates Club, having already expressed his interest to potential suitors in the A-League
A fortnight after Socceroos star Tim Cahill criticised the vision of the domestic competition, his fellow 2010 World Cup teammate could show significant faith in the growth of the domestic game by becoming one of its high-profile recruits next season. Fairfax Media understands Holman has already attracted the interest of several clubs monitoring his status but, should he return to Australia, he will likely play for either of his hometown clubs Sydney FC or Western Sydney Wanderers.
Having spent the past three seasons in the Middle East, the 63-time Socceroo is eager to return home with his young family while at an age he can still contribute and perform in a competition that strengthens year to year. In the final months of his contract, Holman is free to discuss a move with other clubs but as of yet has not reached an agreement with any club in Australia.
The former Aston Villa man will likely demand marquee status in the A-League as clubs may face competition from teams in the Dutch Eredivisie where Holman remains fondly remembered. Holman spent ten years in the Netherlands playing with Excelsior, NEC Nijmegen, AZ Alkmaar, helping the latter to a league title in 2009.
Holman never played in the A-League but spent one season with Parramatta Power in the National Soccer League before moving to the Netherlands in 2002.
Should Holman return to the A-League, he could follow former national teammate Tommy Oar who ended his search for a new home on Monday after signing a three-year-deal with the club at which he began his career, Brisbane Roar.
Despite reportedly linked with moves to China and Sydney FC, the left winger opted to return home five weeks after parting ways with English championship club Ipswich Town.
Oar played 23 A-League games with Brisbane before signing with Dutch club FC Utrecht in 2010. He played 117 games in five seasons before moving to the UK. Oar struggled to make an impact at Ipswich, playing just nine games in all competitions before seeking an early release from his deal in January.
Despite being eligible to face Western Sydney Wanderers on the weekend, Oar is unlikely to play as he is short of match fitness. The club confirmed his multi-year deal on Monday.
"Tommy is a quality player with a proven record in top-flight football," Brisbane football operations manager Craig Moore said. "His signing continues head coach John Aloisi's intentions to bring the best and brightest players to the club."
Club sources informed Fairfax Media the Sky Blues never made an approach for Oar, despite media reports linking him with a marquee position at the club.