New Melbourne Victory signing Mark Milligan says the chance to work with the club's coach Ange Postecoglou played a big part in his decision to join the Hyundai A-League powerhouse.
The signing of Milligan signalled the end of Victory's off-season business, with the likes of Marcos Flores, Spase Dilevski and Adama Traore all inking deals with the club as they bid to respond from a poor 2011/12 campaign in which they failed to make the finals.
The changes at Victory have not stopped with the players either, with Postecoglou – who has guided Brisbane Roar to the last two A-League titles – becoming the club's third manager in less than a year.
And Milligan, who made 10 appearances for Victory on loan last season, hailed Postecoglou's presence and the familiarity of the club as reasons for signing on permanently.
"I've played under Ange in the Young Socceroos," Milligan said.
"Everyone knows what he was able to do up there in Queensland so to have arguably one of the best A-League coaches here in Melbourne - that was a major player (in my decision).
"Both myself and my family had such a good time (last season). It wasn't as successful on the field as we would have liked. There was a lot of factors – obviously Ange, the new signings he's made – but the final decision came down to that it was familiar for us and secure."
Milligan – who has won 12 Qantas Socceroos caps and travelled as a squad member to the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups – joins the club from J2.League side JEF United and does not believe the switch will harm his chances of playing internationally again.
"When I came back to Melbourne at the beginning of the year, I'd been out of the Socceroos (team) for 10 months, so it was a chance for Holger (Osieck) to see me here, week in, week out," he said.
"I went to JEF with the hope that the team would get promoted, which I really expected to do. Unfortunately that wasn't the case."
When quizzed if the move would put him on Osieck's radar more than if he remained with JEF United, Milligan responded: "I think so. That's a compliment to the league and the way it's heading as well – players like Matty McKay and Archie (Thompson) coming in and doing very well with the national team coming out of the A-League."
"A few years ago if you were in the A-League it was obviously very tough to get into the Socceroos squad. It's just a sign of times changing, I guess."