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|A-League is a hard-hitting competition – Melbourne Victory’s Harry Kewell|
Life in Australia’s premier football division hasn’t been on walk in the park for Melbourne Victory star Harry Kewell, with the Socceroo admitting his time in the A-League has been more difficult than he initially anticipated.
"It's been difficult. The league is not as easy as every one made it out to be," the 33-year-old said on Thursday.
"It's a tough league. It's fast, it's furious, it's strong, it's quick, so it's for me to adapt to that.
"This has probably been a big learning curve for me, coming from Europe back home to play in the league.
"I've been hearing about [it] for the past six years that it's not like this or that. I've had a rude awakening.
"It's completely the opposite. It's quick, it's strong, sometimes the passes are not as crisp as European passes but the thought is there."
The former Liverpool winger is slowly finding his feet on Australian soil, believing he will find the correct formula on the pitch, to gel cohesively with his new teammates under Mehmet Durakovic’s tutorship.
"I'd love to be able to fit into a team and gel straight away, but the players have got to gel with me and me with them and that's still happening," revealed Kewell.
"The best thing about this league is that you just have to make the top six and that's where the fun and games begin."
While Kewell’s beginning to life in the A-League hasn’t been all rosy on the pitch, he also hasn’t been devoid of off-field drama. Reports circulated that he desired the services of former Argentinean international Abel Balbo as his personal mentor and coach – appearing to undermine Durakovic’s tenure from the outside.
Although, Kewell later quashed the gossip, stating that there was never any formal blueprint to bring Balbo to Melbourne.
"Personal coach, no. It was in a pre-contract discussion but at the end of the day it was something that was talked about," he said.
"As far as I am aware, it has nothing to do with me or Melbourne Victory.
"I feel I've got the support from the club, which is an important thing."