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Ex-Leeds, Liverpool star Kewell not in Melbourne to 'picnic'

Harry Kewell insists he has not returned to Australia for a holiday and has made it clear he is in Melbourne to give his all.

The Australian international star is preparing for his Melbourne Victory debut against Sydney FC this Saturday but has taken the time to write a column in the Herald Sun, defending himself over calls that he has come to the A-League to 'take it easy'.

'I have lived in Melbourne for three weeks now and I get the impression that some people think I'm here for a picnic,' the former Leeds United, Liverpool and Galatasaray attacker wrote.

'I must admit it's pretty frustrating, because this could not be further from the truth.

'I'm here to play football, I'm not here to take the mickey and never have done.

'This is my workplace and I would never treat my office like a circus because I'd be disrespecting myself, my team and my club.

'I've come back to Australia to make a difference. I've had my differences with FFA and previous Australian federations, but my fans have always been 100 per cent behind me.

'I feel like Melbourne's adopted me and I don't say that lightly because I know what it's like to be loved and hated.

'My last three years in Istanbul with Galatasaray were amazing and I had a special relationship with the fans. Liverpool fans were amazing and they didn't mind having a go, either, which they're entitled to do.'

And Kewell knows very well that he will be targeted by the media in Australia, particularly in Melbourne, and is aware of his responsibilities as a high-profile footballer.

'You know you're going to be scrutinised. If you want to go out and have a drink, be sure that there'll be someone watching you and even if it doesn't make the papers, the manager tends to find out,' he added.

'In Turkey they had about 13 papers dedicated solely to football and that's hundreds of pages they have to fill.

'You can have the odd break when the opportunity arises but you can't afford to go out, drink and party constantly.

'The fans pay good money to come and watch you and they want to see you running for 90 minutes.'

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