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Culina completes the season before returning to Australia (

9 jan 2009 - Source:

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Jason Culina has confirmed he will complete the season in Holland before returning as a free agent to Australia in May. The 28-year-old will sign a three-year contract with Gold Coast United. The Australia international is keen to make a valuable contribution to Australian football.
Promote the national competition and raise the standard
Culina, whose contract with PSV is due to expire at the end of the season, has received offers from three clubs. PSV wanted him to stay in the Netherlands for three more years, Gold Coast United were anxious to capture his signature and he was also being linked with a move to Dinamo Zagreb. Culina, an Australian with Croatian roots, turned his back on the offer from Zagreb and decided to return to his native country. He explained his reasons for doing so after the Friday morning training session in La Manga. 'I want to make a fresh start and I am ready for a new challenge. I am the first international who returns to Australia and I am keen to promote the national competition and raise the standard. Players have returned to Australia from Europe before, but that was usually at the end of their careers. I will be 29 when we return. That's why I was anxious to complete a three-year deal.' Culina admitted that it was not easy to turn down PSV's offer. 'PSV is a great club and I felt flattered when they offered me a contract extension, but I had already made up my mind to return to Australia.'
'Follow my heart'
Culina emphatically denies that his family had persuaded him to go back to down under. 'On the contrary. My wife loves life in the Netherlands and she feels at home here. She wanted me to stay with PSV, but I decided to follow my heart. I spent ten years in Holland and I'm looking forward to the new challenge.' Culina is eligible to become Gold Coast United's captain next season. 'I may be wearing the captain's armband. The Gold Coast United manager wants to have a 22-man squad. Sixteen players have already closed a deal. But my first priority is to put in convincing displays for PSV the next five months. I won the Dutch title three times and want to give my all to the team before I return back home.'