Posted: Friday February 15, 2013 10:14 PM

Lucas Neill signs with Sydney for rest of season

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SYDNEY (AP) -Former West Ham captain and current Australia skipper Lucas Neill will join Alessandro Del Piero at Sydney FC for the remainder of the A-League season.

Neill, who was released by United Arab Emirates club Al Wasl earlier this month, said in a statement Saturday he is "excited to be coming back to Australia to play club football in front of friends and family.''

Neill, who turns 35 next month, begins training with Sydney on Sunday and will be available for next weekend's match at Melbourne Heart.

Before joining Al Wasl, the Sydney native spent most of his professional career in England with Milwall, Blackburn Rovers, West Ham and Everton, before joining Turkish club Galatasaray and Al Jazira in the UAE.

A veteran of 89 matches and two World Cups for Australia, Neill was reportedly told by national coach Holger Osieck he must be playing regularly to be selected for upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Sydney earlier this week re-signed former Australia coach Frank Farina to steer the side for another two years.

"I worked with Frank for many years in the Socceroos and I look back on those times with good memories, and it's great to have the chance to enjoy further success together at Sydney FC,'' Neill said. "Hopefully the team can get a win today and I look forward to meeting my new teammates tomorrow.''
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