Best of the West - Kewell

Arguably the most gifted footballer Australia has ever produced, few players from these shores have been able to boast the exciting, creative attacking capabilities of Harry Kewell.

Arguably the most gifted footballer Australia has ever produced, few players from these shores have been able to boast the exciting, creative attacking capabilities of Harry Kewell.

Born and raised in Smithfield, Kewell-s first club was Marconi U14s, where he had the chance to participate in international tours, including a trip to England.

Kewell showed enough in that trip to earn an invitation to trial with Leeds United, then an established Premier League team, and at 15, he signed his first contract with the Whites.

After a couple of seasons in the youth team, Kewell burst into life as a full professional in a young and exciting Leeds side, alongside fellow Aussie Mark Viduka.

In 1990, Kewell won the PFA Young Player of the Year and was selected in the Team of the Year after a fantastic debut season, becoming one of the hottest properties in European football.

After Leeds, Kewell secured a dream move to boyhood favourites Liverpool. But Anfield was only treated to moments of the Australian at his best, as his time on Merseyside was blighted by injury.

But he still became the first Australian-born player to win a UEFA Champions League medal in 2005, in that famous Liverpool comeback, and also featured in the Reds- FA Cup final triumph against West Ham the following season.

Kewell took up an after to play in Europe after leaving Anfield, signing for Turkish giants Galatasary and quickly becoming a fan favourite, playing alongside Qantas Socceroos teammate Lucas Neill.

In 2011, Kewell thrilled Australian football fans by signing for Melbourne Victory to play in the Hyundai A-League. The season was a disappointment for the club but Kewell proved his superior class and ability as the season went on.

His performances for the green and gold have been no less exciting, scoring some vital goals for Australia at international level and providing an inspiration for a whole generation of Australian footballers.

His immediate future remains uncertain but there is no doubt Australia has been blessed to have a player of Kewell-s talents, and someone the people of Sydney-s western suburbs can always proudly boast as one of their own.