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Jan 7, 2008

Lazaridis admits final year looms

Former Socceroo Stan Lazaridis admits he has just one more year of football left in his aging legs - and would like to spend it repaying Perth Glory's patience.

After a nightmarish 13-month absence from the game following a positive drug test, Lazaridis finally pulled the boots on again last Sunday, lasting the full 90 minutes of Glory's A-League draw with Central Coast.

And although surprising himself with his level of fitness, the 35-year-old admitted if he is granted one more year by the Glory it will be the last of his illustrious career.

"I felt better as the game went on and I think as a team we got better. I was just pleased to get through the game and to put the last 13 months behind me," Lazaridis said.

"I just wanted to get through the game and not look like I took a year out.

"This is preparation for next season if you want to put it that way. A lot of players are under the microscope, myself included, and we will just have to see what happens."

Lazaridis' lucrative two-year deal with Perth runs out in June, with his positive test for masking agent finasteride - which he was taking as treatment for hair loss - ruining most of that.

After previously stating he was willing to take a pay cut and relinquish marquee status if required, the former English Premier League wideman said he would like to spend his last year playing for his hometown club.

"From my point of view I was always looking to play a couple more years in Australia, and having missed this year I think it will be fitting for me to play another year," Lazaridis said.

"But I don't see myself playing any more than one more year, that is for sure.

"Having missed this year, I think there are a lot of people that want me to stay on, so we will have to toss it up with the board.

"It depends on Dave Mitchell and the Glory board, and seeing what is right for the club and if I am part of it we will see. If I am not I will come down and watch them train."

While Lazaridis and Glory prepare for their final home game of another disappointing season against Adelaide on Sunday, the future of captain Simon Colosimo is also unsure after reported interest from Sydney.

That led to Colosimo being booed by Glory fans, but Lazaridis said the skipper was entitled to look at his options.

"I would like to see (Simon) stay, truth be told, because I think he is as good as what you have got in the A-League," Lazaridis said.

"But in fairness to him he is a free player, there are going to be a lot of other clubs after him, and it is only right he listen to all his offers and weighs it up."

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