Bridges' mind was made up following a conversation with Sunderland's former Sydney FC star Dwight Yorke.

The former Leeds man is looking forward to his foray in Australia, where he will play alongside Middlesbrough legend Juninho.

"I was all set to rejoin Carlisle, but (John Ward) said he needed to take a closer look at the players already there before making his mind up," Bridges told the Sunderland Echo.

"With Sydney waiting for an answer, I couldn't afford to wait.

"I've spoken to Dwight Yorke about life there and he said I won't want to come back after sampling the lifestyle.

"But I plan to come back - English football hasn't seen the last of me."

He added: "This is a big adventure and playing with someone like Juninho will be fantastic."