Confidence builds for Celeski

Billy Celeski believes his return to form in Sunday's gutsy win over Gold Coast United has finally given him confidence in his re-constructed knee.

Billy Celeski believes his return to form in Sunday's gutsy win over Gold Coast United has finally given him confidence in his re-constructed knee.

The midfielder ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament in September 2009, which sidelined him for a year.

He returned to the pitch last season only to be dogged by further injuries and inconsistent form.

But the 26-year-old played his best game of the season in Sunday's 3-2 triumph at AAMI Park. His passing, workrate and confidence had all noticeably lifted.

"It was massive for me," the one-time Socceroo told reporters at training on Wednesday.

"Obviously with the long lay-off I had with the knee I expected to have an up-and-down year (but) now that the knee is feeling good and I have a great pre-season under me it's something I want to improve on."

"I want to take it to the next level after the great win that we have had," he said.

He admitted it was only during this year's pre-season that he reclaimed full confidence in his body.

"It's a hard thing. I was out for about 12 months and it takes a long time to get back to where you were."

"I had a lot of barriers I had to get through mentally and I had to trust my body again."

"I feel really good now. I feel really strong and fit and confident," he said.

Celeski, who now sports a lengthy scar that runs vertically along his knee, said the 2010/11 campaign was a strain mentally.

"Every time I had a good game I thought this is something I could build on. But then I would have a couple of games where I wasn't so great."

But an injury-free off-season has the affable veteran eying a return to his old self.

"It was when I started to get some consistency into my body fitness-wise. I think that came (during) pre-season this year when I was getting through session really well and backing up," Celeski said.

"Now the confidence is there definitely."

"It was more a matter of building on the things I was doing quite well before hand."

"A lot of it was going into tackles and the biggest part for me when I was playing well was my movement off the ball and my sharpness. Now I'm regaining that slowly," he said.