Former Socceroo Brett Holman says he quit the national team to prolong his club career and has no regrets about missing the World Cup in Brazil.
The 2010 World Cup hero has also shed light on his reasons for leaving the English Premier League for the Middle East.
Holman said he had been inundated with calls asking why he chose to call time on his Socceroos career on the eve of football's global showpiece.
“Everybody was trying to find some sort of angle, but the fact is it’s a decision that I thought long and hard about,” he told Sport360°.
“It got to the stage when I had to take a look around and consider certain factors, especially with moving out to Dubai.
“The competition out here is very hard on your body and I want to stay here as many years as I can. That was one of the main reasons.”
He added: “I had a long chat with my wife and my parents and I felt that – having just turned 30 – I want to give so many more years to my club career.
“On one hand there is an argument that yes, I am missing out on a World Cup, but the flip side is I feel this decision will help prolong my career; and I have so much more to give to Al Nasr.”
During his career Holman earned 63 caps and featured in the 2010 FIFA World Cup and both the 2007 and 2011 AFC Asian Cups.
He scored nine goals for the Socceroos, including two in South Africa, first against Ghana and then a memorable long range bullet against Serbia.
“For me to say that I’ve given everything to my country’s national team for the past eight years – I’m so happy with what I achieved and what I did,” he said.
“If there was that ounce of doubt in my mind, considering there’s a World Cup around the corner, then we wouldn’t be here talking now.
“I’m so happy and proud of what I’ve done for the Socceroos. I’ve got no regrets. I have had a great ride and got some great memories with all the boys and the games we’ve played. It’s been fantastic.”
With a year remaining on his contract with UAE outfit, Al Nasr, Holman said he is keen to extend his stay.
“I want to be here for a few more years,” he said. “My wife and my kids have got a great feeling for Dubai and the club has made us so at home.
“That’s important for me. When my wife and kids are happy and family life is good, it makes me a lot more relaxed and helps me play good football. I would love to stay here for four or five more years and help lay a great foundation for Al Nasr’s future.”
The Bankstown-born player was widely criticised for leaving EPL side Aston Villa for the UAE Pro League in the prime of his career but said his family came first.
“Football is important, but my two kids are the number one priority,” he said.
“I need to provide a good environment for them, and so far it’s been fantastic in Dubai. They’ve adapted brilliantly.
“Birmingham wasn’t the best of times for my family. I still enjoyed it there for the fact I was in the Premier League, but lifestyle-wise, it didn’t really happen. Here, I can see how much my family has blossomed. It’s great to see.
“If you’re not having a good time at work it affects your personal life and vice-versa. My wife can see how much I enjoy playing for Al Nasr, and when you’re happy in your job – whether that’s football or something else – then it rubs off on your family.”1 comment