The 29-year-old – who left Sunderland for $12.5million to join Leeds in 1999 – decided to choose Sydney after rejecting a loan move to his former club, Carlisle.

"I've spoken to Dwight Yorke about life there and he said I won't want to come back after sampling the lifestyle," Bridges told the UK's Sunderland Echo.

"I was all set to rejoin Carlisle, but the manager said he needed to take a closer look at the players already there before making his mind up.

"With Sydney waiting for an answer, I couldn't afford to wait."

The Sydney deal will see Bridges join the club for six months as a replacement for crocked US import Michael Enfield who is out for the season with a knee injury.

The injury-prone Hull City striker added: "This is a big adventure and playing with someone like Juninho will be fantastic.

"My wife Kate and the twins will join me in Sydney in a few weeks and we're looking forward to spending Christmas on the beach!"

But he vowed: "I plan to come back – English football hasn't seen the last of me."