‘All the stars aligned’ for Regan’s Malaysia adventure

Taylor Regan says he would have stayed with the Newcastle Jets ‘for life’ but will happily rebuild his football career in Asia.

The defender has been made captain of Malaysian Premier League side NS Matrix FC after signing a one-year contract.

Regan moves to the club after his A-League career with the Jets ended abruptly under Phil Stubbins at the completion of the 2014-15 season.

The centre back will be joined by fellow Australians in head coach Gary Phillips, striker Andrew Nabbout, attacking midfielder Joel Chianese and former Wellington Phoenix forward Alex Smith.

“Scott Ollerenshaw and Tony Rallis gave me the opportunity,” Regan said.

“They are well respected and well connected in this part of the world. They did the deal for Gary Phillips to become the head coach here and I have known Gary for a few years.

“All the stars aligned I guess.”

“I’ve signed a one-year deal. But hopefully with some success we can keep ourselves here a while longer then that and build something special."

A Hunter region product, Regan joined the Jets youth team in 2008 and made his A-League debut two years later.

He made 68 appearances for Newcastle and was made captain of the club in February last year following the sacking of several senior players.

But Regan’s contract was not renewed at the end of the A-League campaign, something he initially struggled to come to terms with.

“I would have signed a deal for life to stay in Newcastle,” Regan said.

“But a few false promises and a lack of honesty from people within the management meant my time was done there.

“Asia is obviously growing fast and Malaysian football is a great way for me to play in a lovely country and continue my professional career.

“Negeri Sembilan has a rich history of success and are considered to be one of the best clubs in Malaysian football.

“For too long they have under achieved and it is our job as players to change that trend.

“We have a young squad and we are working hard to build a strong culture here.
 A top two finish is the goal."

Regan heads to Malaysia at a time when many Australian players and coaches are flocking to the nation. Two former Socceroos are currently playing their trade in the Malaysian Super League - Jon McKain and Robbie Cornthwaite.

“The fact there are a few Australians around the group makes a huge difference,” Regan said.

“Not just on the pitch but also away from it. All the boys have partners and my wife loves spending time with them, which of course makes my life easier.

“Robbie and Jon are both at big clubs in Malaysia. They have been here for a while now and proved themselves.

“Obviously their success has given Australians a good reputation here.”