LONDON: Socceroos captain Lucas Neill has signed for England Championship club Watford for the remainder of the 2013-14 season.

The veteran defender had been increasingly desperate to secure a deal before this year’s World Cup in Brazil and had even been in discussions with NSW state league side Sydney Olympic.

Watford officially announced the deal on its website on Monday, with Neill’s signing still subject to international clearance.

The 35-year-old Australian, who has played for Millwall, Blackburn Rovers, West Ham and Everton, has impressed the Watford Hornets’ coaching staff over the past week or so while training at UCL London Colney with the squad, maintaining sharpness with training sessions and friendly matches at Blackburn.

“I want to add my experience to the Watford squad and I’m hoping that some of my natural leadership skills can benefit the group here,” Neill said, as part of a watfordfc.com interview.

“I’m highly motivated to keep playing. There’s still a huge passion within me for football. I’ve had experience in different territories across recent years.

“I’ve spent 14 years of my career in England and my family are based here.

“I took up challenges in different countries because I wanted some new experiences — but this is a great chance for me to play at an excellent level and help Watford finish the season as strongly as possible.”

Neill’s last club was Omiya Ardija in Japan’s J-League. He left in December.

Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou on Wednesday will name his 23-man squad for the March 5 friendly against Ecuador in London.

AAP