Almost 100 games of international experience will be on the park for Murray United on Saturday when marquee signing Jade North reunites with former Socceroos teammate Archie Thompson.
Ironically, Murray takes on Melbourne Victory's youth outfit - the club Thompson played 224 games for in the A-League.
North, who made 115 appearances for Brisbane Roar in the national competition between 2013 and 2018, will travel from the Queensland capital to play the majority of the remaining 16 matches for the Border-based NPL 2 outfit.
Thompson is thrilled to welcome the 37-year-old to the club.
"Obviously being mates with him and being pretty close, we grew up through the Socceroos and Olympic team," he said.
"I don't even know how it came about.
"I had a word to Jade about how great an organisation Murray is and the passionate people behind the club.
"He's a big believer in giving back to the community and his Indigenous roots, he's got his own foundation.
"He's knows what it's about giving back to the community and regional areas, considering he grew up in one."
Thompson admitted the news of North's signing has been well received across the country.
"I put a post up and everyone that's part of the A-League and old Socceroo mates are over the moon to see Jade playing again," he said.
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"We've played against each other most our lives and have the opportunity to play together again. It's awesome.
"He's a great player, just with that generation we were in with the Socceroos (2005-2016), it was always going to be tough to crack into the side.
"If it wasn't for some of those players that were playing in bigger leagues, he would have been more of a regular in that Socceroos team.
"He's an amazing defender and I think it's about what he can give the young guys and even some of the older guys with his experience and leadership.
"If anything, it (leadership) has been one area that we've been struggling in this year."
Thompson said the camaraderie in Socceroos camps with players like North was something that left him with many fond memories.
"There's plenty of laughs, that's just the character he is," he said.
"He doesn't take things too seriously, but when he steps across that white line it's business as usual.
"That's what he's about and I think that's what Murray is about.
"He'll be able to enjoy his football and it's around a good bunch of boys.
"I'm probably two or three years past my expiry date, but I love being around the group, which is why I keep coming back (laughs)."
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