Prodigal son Matt McKay has dismissed fears his A-League return with Brisbane Roar will hurt his chances of playing for the Socceroos at next year's World Cup.
A foundation Roar midfielder who captained the club to the 2010-11 title before heading overseas, McKay has signed with Brisbane as their Australian marquee player after two years playing in Scotland, Korea and China.
The 30-year-old said he always wanted to play for the Roar again and denied his earlier-than-expected return would jeopardise his Socceroos starting berth.
McKay confidently predicted the Roar would make the April-May A-League play-offs - providing a timely lead in to the World Cup in Brazil which kicks off in June - while national coach Holger Osieck had given his blessing on the two-year deal.
"I had a good chat with Holger and he was very positive," McKay said after his first training session in Brisbane on Monday morning.
"He's got a lot of time for the A-League and you could see that (Melbourne Victory's Mark) Milligan came in and did a good job for the three qualifiers (this year), and I broke into the Socceroos through the A-League.
"You want to be playing competitively as close as you can to the World Cup and I'm sure the Roar will be there at finals time."
The Roar moved quickly to snaffle McKay after he was released by Chinese club Changchun Yatai, beating off interest from overseas and the Melbourne Victory.
"Ever since I left I was thinking about the day I would come back," he said. "I felt very wanted here and it's a club that's going places again.
"It's improved since I was here two years ago and I want to be a part of the again."
Roar coach Mike Mulvey confirmed central defender Matt Smith would retain the captaincy but McKay's leadership, on and off the field, would be invaluable.
Mulvey praised leading club officials Sean Dobson and Chris Fong for signing McKay and also luring Liam Miller from Perth Glory after placing them on a short-list of three desired acquisitions for this season.
The coach said McKay was certain to pull the orange jersey on again in the midfield in a trial against Melbourne Heart in Lismore in a fortnight.
Brisbane open their A-League season away to Wellington on October 13.