Emerton leaves Blackburn for Sydney

Australia winger Brett Emerton signed with A-League club Sydney

on Thursday, leaving Blackburn Rovers by mutual consent with a year

remaining on his contract.

The 32-year-old Emerton signed a three-year deal after passing a

medical test in Manchester on Tuesday.

”This is an exciting opportunity for me,” Emerton said in a

statement. ”I’m a Sydney boy and I’m looking forward to

representing the people of Sydney every week and playing in front

of friends, family and Sydney football fans.

”Football has been very good to me and I have always said I’d

like to come back and play in the A-League while I still have

something to offer, and thanks to Sydney FC and Blackburn Rovers,

that opportunity has come about a bit earlier than I had

thought.”

Blackburn manager Steve Kean said after Wednesday’s League Cup

win over Sheffield Wednesday the prospect of losing Emerton would

be ”very, very sad.”

”If Brett does move it will be a family decision, not a

football decision,” Kean said. ”If Brett decides it’s something

he’d like to explore, you’ve got to give respect for the service

he’s given the club.”

Emerton is expected to make his 248th and last appearance for

Blackburn against Everton on Sunday.

His signing comes less than a week after rival A-League side

Melbourne Victory signed fellow Socceroo and former Liverpool and

Leeds star Harry Kewell.

Emerton played with Sydney Olympic in Australia’s former

National Soccer League before moving to Europe with Dutch club

Feyenoord in 2000, then to Rovers in 2003.