Left the country: Lucas Neill of J-League club Omiya Ardija.

Left the country: Lucas Neill of J-League club Omiya Ardija. Photo: Getty Images

Australian captain and J-League defender Lucas Neill flew home on Tuesday from Japan due to ‘‘family reasons,’’ his club Omiya Ardija said.

‘‘There is no timetable set for his return to Japan,’’ the club said in a press release.

But 35-year-old Neill told Japan’s Kyodo news agency his commitment to football in the country was undimmed.

‘‘I’m very keen on coming back to the J-League,’’ he said.

‘‘Japan and the J-League, I absolutely love it. It’s brilliant. Some of the top teams here, the style, the technical ability is fantastic.’’

The Socceroos skipper, who played nearly 15 years of his career in England, including with West Ham and Everton, signed with the J-League side in August.

Neill has played in nine league matches, but missed the last two games for Omiya.

Omiya on Saturday beat Jubilo Iwata 3-0 at home for just their second victory since Tsutomu Ogura replaced Zdenko Verdenik as manager in August.

Under Ogura, Omiya, who at one point this season were top of the table, have slipped to 14th with one game left to play.

Neill told Kyodo that things have been difficult at Omiya, trying to help end the team’s poor run of form while juggling his international commitments.

Neill was criticised heavily during Australia’s back-to-back 6-0 beatings by Brazil and France in September/October with some pundits suggesting he should retire from international football immediately.

While Socceroos coach Holger Osieck was sacked after the thrashings, Neill maintained both his starting spot and the captaincy under new mentor Ange Postecoglou.

He played in Australia’s 1-0 win over Costa Rica in Sydney last month, swearing at fans who booed him during the match, head of Football Federation Australia David Gallop later describing his actions as ‘‘unacceptable’’.

Neil is planning to make the 2015 Asian Cup, which will be held in January in Australia, his swan song, Kyodo said.

AFP