SYDNEY, May 20 ― Socceroos forward Mathew Leckie says European clubs “hate” their Australian players making the long trip home to represent their country and that international football can make life difficult for players.
Leckie, who is on the lookout for a new club for next season after being frozen out at Bundesliga outfit Hertha Berlin, said he loved playing for Australia but it did come at a cost.
“Most clubs hate when we have to travel for qualifiers or any games, because the travel is so far and obviously most of the time we're one of the last back,” Leckie told the Fox Football podcast.
“Sometimes you feel like you come back and people aren't happy with you because you went away. I don't understand what they expect. For them, maybe it's not so important.”
Leckie said sometimes clubs did not take international football in Asia seriously and then used the travel as a reason to sideline Australians.
“You could be leaving playing regularly and playing well and then come back and excuses come, 'you seem tired', they sort of create things that don't exist,” he added.
“We played the first game of the season against Bayern Munich here and we drew 1-1, and then we had a camp for the national team and I think for the next game I didn't even sit on the bench because I came back on the Thursday.”
The 29-year-old was a regular at Hertha in his first two seasons but has dropped down the pecking order after the club made some big-money signings, leaving him frustrated and looking for a way out.
“Just a change is what's needed,” said Leckie, who has played 63 times for Australia and featured at two World Cups.
“Obviously I'll try to get a move in the summer, it's just finding out what's the best thing to do.” ― Reuters