The direction of the Socceroos under Graham Arnold has convinced Mark Milligan to postpone his international retirement and remain with the national team at least up until the 2019 Asian Cup.
The veteran defender was weighing up whether to call time on his decorated international career following the 2018 World Cup in Russia but was convinced not to after the first camp under Arnold.
Milligan, 33, arrived at last month's camp in Turkey doubting whether he would add to his 71 caps but was encouraged by the positivity within the group and Arnold's vision to stay through to the Asian Cup in the UAE in January.
"After the World Cup, there was a little bit of time to sit and reflect. I spoke to Arnie quite a few times afterwards and obviously the decision I came to was that I want to be a part of this and help this group remain and become even more successful," Milligan said.
Australia will get their first look at Arnold's Socceroos on Tuesday morning [AEDT] against Kuwait in Kuwait City. After a more stoic defensive showing in Russia than previous years, Milligan hinted at a more positive and attacking approach to games under Arnold.
"We're looking to play a way that really suits the players we have," Milligan said. "You can see the winning mentality in the group, and I guess Arnie coming in with that positivity is really feeding that.
"You could see that response in Turkey with what theyre trying to do. We will continue to improve and I think thats very exciting. With the Asian Cup just around the corner, its something I wanted to stay around for and be a part of."
Mile Jedinak's retirement from international football leaves the Australian captaincy vacant.
Arnold has already held meetings with the leadership group, but it remains to be seen whether Milligan or Trent Sainsbury will lead Australia against Kuwait.
Milligan was the long-term vice-captain under Jedinak's reign, but Sainsbury was twice handed the captain's armband by former coach Bert van Marwijk in friendly games against the Czech Republic and Hungary before the World Cup.
"Naturally Ill step into a little bit more of a leadership role anyway. Obviously I think going forward theres quite a few options he has," Milligan said.
"Theres always been a good culture in this side . . . Arnie grabbed a few of us and spoke about improving our culture and how he wants us going forward."
Dominic Bossi is a football reporter with The Sydney Morning Herald.