Emerton expects to keep place
Emerton completed his switch to Sydney FC on Tuesday morning after gaining a release from Blackburn to sign a three-year deal with the Sky Blues last week. The 32-year-old said he was excited to be back home to start the next phase of his career and was confident he could help Sydney win some silverware. But Emerton's first point of call will be to link up with the Socceroos squad in Brisbane this afternoon to begin preparations for Friday night's World Cup qualifier against Thailand. The clash will be the midfielder's 88th for Australia and he admits he has set his sights on getting to 100 appearances in the green and gold. And he was confident his decision to swap the English Premier League for the A-League wouldn't place his Socceroos jersey in jeopardy. "Players have shown in the past - and Jason Culina who has been in the A-League for a number of years is a prime example - that they can be a consistent part of the Socceroos set-up," Emerton said. "He's probably playing the best I've seen him play for a long time, even better than when he was in Europe (with PSV Eindhoven). "So I don't think my standards will drop. "As far as Holger's (Socceroos coach Holger Osieck) selection is concerned, he will always pick his players on performances and, as long as I'm playing well for Sydney, I can't see any reason I won't continue to play for the national team." Emerton said he was well aware of the expectations put on Socceroos who come home to play in the A-League, but was confident he could handle the pressure to perform. "Expectations will be high, there's no doubt about that," he said. "But I'm prepared to carry those expectations. "I think every footballer, you're going to go through good and bad periods. "But I'm old enough and wise enough and experienced enough to, when I'm not playing well, be confident in my own ability and get back to where I should be. "I've chosen to come back now rather than in a few years' time because I'm in top form and I feel I can contribute to the A-League." Asked what he hoped to achieve with the Sky Blues, Emerton said he was desperate to win another trophy before he hangs up his boots. "Over my career I won the UEFA Cup in 2002 which was a long time ago now, but apart from that haven't had the chance to lift a trophy," he said. "Coming here to Sydney gives me the chance to do so." Emerton will play his first match in the Sydney FC number seven jersey in a pre-season trial against Perth Glory next month.