Beauchamp returns to play

A desire for regular game time is the driving force behind Australian defender Michael Beauchamp's return to the Hyundai A-League to play for new club Melbourne Heart.

A desire for regular game time is the driving force behind Australian defender Michael Beauchamp's return to the Hyundai A-League to play for new club Melbourne Heart.

Beauchamp may have featured for Australia in the recent World Cup, but while his international career is ticking along well, his journeys overseas since leaving the Central Coast Mariners in 2006 have seen him plays for three different clubs in three different countries.

Having started in less than 40 club games in the past three seasons, the 29-year-old felt he needed to find somewhere where he could play more regularly.

"I wanted to play regular football. The last few years overseas I wasn't playing that regularly, I had a lot of injuries and I was looking to get back in week in, week out and see what happens," he said after his first training session for his new club.

Beauchamp left the Hyundai A-League in 2006 as a World Cup squad member and a reputation as one of the most improved defenders in the country. That improvement has continued, he believes, despite struggling to find regular game time at Nuremberg (Germany), Aalborg (Denmark) and Al Jazira (UAE).

"The experience I have had over there has made me stronger as a player. When you are over there, you have to work on a lot more things. For me generally, I feel a lot more of an overall player and I'm looking forward to getting back on the park," Beauchamp said.

But he knows that he would have had to improve as he believes the competition itself has progressed quite a long way since he left after the first season.

"From what I can see it definitely has improved. You've still got that rivalry there between big teams. Each week is a big game. It's going to be interesting this season with another team in the league and hopefully this season, the same again next year," he said.

Beauchamp said his most recent spell in the Middle East proved to him that he needed to return home to find his feet again.

"It wasn't what I thought, things were said, but didn-t happen, that's all part of football. Luckily I got games there at the end and that's what got me through to the World Cup selection," he said.

National selection still remains firmly on Beauchamp's radar after a World Cup experience where he featured in the final game against Serbia in Nelspruit.

"I was very happy to get that last game. I wasn't too sure if I would have played if (Craig) Moorey hadn-t have been suspended but I was entrusted by Pim, I felt like I did alright. It's something I'll never forget," he said.

He is adamant the move back to the Hyundai A-League won't affect his prospects of making future Socceroos squads and he wants to play a major role in January's Asian Cup in Qatar.

"Before the Asian Cup, there's not going to be that many European players. That's something the new coach is going to have to look for because that will be a busy time for the European players. For me generally, I'm looking forward to coming back here. I feel it will help me with the Socceroos," he said.