Muscat to play on

Melbourne Victory captain Kevin Muscat admits he is "scared" by the prospect of retirement but firmly believes he has made the right decision to play on in the 2010-11 Hyundai A League season.

Melbourne Victory captain Kevin Muscat admits he is "scared" by the prospect of retirement but firmly believes he has made the right decision to play on in the 2010-11 Hyundai A League season.

After seeking input from the Victory's medical staff and several confidantes, Muscat, who turns 37 in August, confirmed on Monday he had shelved thoughts of retirement at least for another year and would lead the club for a sixth Hyundai A-League campaign and through the Asian Champions League.

"I had to give it a great deal of thought. Fortunately for myself, I am surrounded by people who have helped me along, not only last season, but the last four years," he said on Monday at Victory's headquarters at AAMI Park.

"I have got my body into a position where I can compete. That, for me, right throughout was the one thing that I needed to know - that I can compete."

"I went away, did everything I needed to do in terms of finding out of the body could hold up. All the indications that I have been given from the conditioning staff and physios and doctors is the body is in good condition."

"I just had to decide and work out whether I wanted to go through it one more time, and that for me was easy because I certainly want to keep playing for as long as possible, albeit in a position where I can compete and influence a football game."

Muscat said redemption after losing last season's Hyundai A League grand final to Sydney had not been a motivating factor to play on for a 22nd season.

"Looking back, I have been stopped in the street and people say: 'You can't go out on that note, missing the penalty in the last game'," he said.

"I can honestly say there were so many other things to consider before that. The body is the first thing you have to analyse."

"A little bit of me had that thought as well, it would be nice to actually go one better than last season, but that certainly wasn't a motivational factor for me."

Muscat admitted he dreaded the thought of ending his career.

"It does scare you because unfortunately a lot of my teammates that I grew up with have already retired," he said.

"That was one of the processes for me to speak with them, to speak to the people close to me. The one constant was, if your body is capable, certainly try to go around again."

"After that you analyse if your performances are up to scratch. I would like to think last season I faired quite well."

Muscat also revealed the prospect of playing for the first time in a local derby against Melbourne's new second Hyundai A League side, the Heart, added to his enthusiasm for the new campaign.

"After deciding that I was going to round again, it was the first thing I thought of to be honest," he said.

"Football in this country has come a long way. But that game against the Heart is going to be something special and something unprecedented in this country. I am looking forward to that immensely."

Victory coach Ernie Merrick said it was crucial his partnership with Muscat - the pair has been together since the Hyundai A League was formed - continued next season.

"To get him over the line was very important to me," Merrick said.

"I am bit old-fashioned. I believe physically and mentally tough players that create confidence are the ones that you have got to keep around the club and that's what Kevin offers both on and off the field."

Provided he remains physically healthy, the former Socceroos defender has not ruled out playing on in 2012.

The Victory officially begin pre-season training next week.