Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek has assured midfielder Jason Culina that his international career will not be in jeopardy if he moves to the A-League.
Culina turned down a deal with Dutch Eredivisie club PSV Eindhoven to accept a three-year deal with new A-League franchise Gold Coast United and many outsiders have criticised him in regards to the move because the Australian season is much shorter and there is a three month gap in between the end of the season and the 2010 World Cup.
Verbeek however believes that the 28-year old will not be affected by these issues and is a required player in the national squad.
''Jason is such a naturally fit player, such a professional in everything he does and so committed to doing things the right way that I see no reason why coming back to the A-League should make him any less of a player - and any less useful or effective for the national team,” Verbeek said.
''You have to remember that, like say Brett Homan of AZ Alkmaar, Jason can run all day, prepares perfectly for games and he won't let his standards slip at all.
''If coming home makes him happy as a person -and it's a choice he made freely - then his football should also reflect that.
''He will be doing it for a number of seasons and you have to say it's a boost for the A-League that somebody of his stature is coming back at an age (28) when most players would still be staying in Europe if they had a choice.
''He's made a hard decision but I'm sure he will work hard to prove it's the right one for him. In many cases I would advise players who want to be a part of the World Cup to stay in Europe but with Jason, I feel he is an exception.”