Nick Montgomery, the former Sheffield United midfielder, hopes he will return to Bramall Lane “at some point in the future” after outlining plans to become a coach.
The Central Coast Mariners captain made the admission despite insisting that moving to Australia has improved him as a player.
Montgomery, who made 397 appearances for United before joining the A-League franchise in 2012, told The Star: “I’m working on my coaches badges and everyone knows the club is so close to my heart. So, at some point in the future, it would be great to come back because I know I’ve got a lot to offer.
“Especially after coming here and gaining new experience. At the moment, I’m completely focused on doing well for the Mariners though.”
Montgomery, aged 33, was a member of the United squad which gained promotion to the Premier League eight seasons ago and last night warned Nigel Adkins that repeating that feat would be the most “pressurised” challenge of his footballing career.
Drawing on over a decade’s worth of experience in South Yorkshire, Montgomery said: “Nigel knows what he’s doing but, from my time there, the best thing he could do is make sure everyone he signs has got bottle.
“That’s what Sheffield United is all about. Graft and courage. It’s a great working class club.
“You need ability, that goes without question. But, because of the expectation, character is key.”
“It’s important there’s no ‘bad eggs’ in the dressing room,” he added. “It only takes one or two and it can ruin the harmony which is key.
“One thing we had during my successful times there was a great bunch of lads and spirit where everyone worked for each other whether playing or not.”
Montgomery, speaking during his return to England, reassured the Mariners’ support that he has no plans to leave Central Coast Stadium soon. Indeed he paid a handsome tribute to the Gosford based club whose technical director, Tony Walmsley, is also a former United employee.
“Coming out here has broadened my horizons, made me a better player and person” Montgomery said. “Playing in the Asian Champions league great experience as we play the best teams in China, Korea and Japan.
“The intensity isn’t the same but I’ve learnt more here in tactically than in England. The Australians are world leaders when it comes to sports science and we should study how they go about things more. It’s a brilliant place to live and, looking back, I needed a fresh challenge. My family love it.”
“I will be cheering the club on from Australia, it’s the first result I look for,” Montgomery added. “I feel the pain of all Unitedites but I know they will keep the faith and get behind Nigel and the lads as, when they do, it’s like an extra man.”