Former Chelsea and Newcastle man heads down under

Damien Duff leaves Fulham behind for Melbourne.

Former Chelsea winger Damien Duff has joined Melbourne City on a free transfer.

He will join former Barcelona and Atletico Madrid forward David Villa in Australia – who has joined on a short-term loan before he links up with MLS New York City.

Duff leaves Fulham having spent all of his professional career in the Premier League, coming to prominence at Blackburn Rovers before moving to Chelsea for £17 million. He then moved on to Newcastle before concluding his time in the Premier League with the Cottagers, who were relegated this season.

Melbourne City's Head Coach, John van't Schip is quoted on, saying: "We're excited to have a player of Damien's quality and experience for this season.

"We believe he can offer international standard quality on the pitch and will also be a great professional example for our younger players. His career speaks for itself. He has achieved almost everything at club level and has been a great player at an international level too.

"He comes to us straight from the English Premier League with Fulham, so he has been playing at the highest level against top teams and top players. When we met with Damien, he was excited about the opportunity here and keen to work with us to help make this project a success."

Duff is not the only high profile player who will be playing in the A-League. Former Premier League striker Emile Heskey has spent some time in Australia, as has former Juventus star Alessandro Del Piero. It is seemingly a place for those who have spent a lot of time in the major European leagues to spend the autumn years of their careers.

During his time in English football, the 35-year-old made 473 appearances and scored 61 goals. He won the League Cup with Blackburn Rovers in 2002, as well as at Chelsea at 2005, and won two Premier League titles at Stamford Bridge.

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch