Zahra looks to A-League after Malta move turns sour

Adrian Zahra has returned to Australia to sign with the Melbourne Knights and has an eye on making his way back into the A-League.

The former Melbourne City and Perth Glory winger moved to Malta to join Valletta at the end of the 2013-2014 season.

Zahra made six appearances for the Maltese club, scoring two goals, but was released in December.

The 24-year-old, who has Maltese heritage, said his time in the Maltese Premier League was an eye-opener.

“Malta was great, beautiful place, great lifestyle but the football and facilities started to take its toll,” Zahra told FourFourTwo.

“I had some issues that made me think twice on whether or not to continue there or come home.

“The issues came about when the club realised we couldn't finish first and second, third and fourth only play Europa League next season and Champions League was a main priority.

“So they cut back financially with salaries and staff. There was a change in management but that wasn't an issue because he wanted me to say but I couldn't afford to be over there if I wasn't being paid what was promised. I left on good terms just before January.”

Zahra, who made 37 appearances and scored five goals in four A-League seasons with City and Glory, said the facilities in Malta were very different to those in Australia.

“The pitches were synthetic and not regulation size that you trained on,” he said.

“They had one physio who wasn't full time and no recovery areas.”

Zahra has signed with Melbourne Knights for the 2015 NPL season but is after another shot in the A-League.

“There is interest within the A-League but nothing in writing at this point,” the midfielder said.

“Obviously I’m hoping to be back there whether it be injury replacement or next season because I understand the cap and the situation with squad numbers and quotas.

“I have a clause to leave at any time and the Knights have always treated me well in the past and will never stand in my way.

“They understand my intentions and I respect them for allowing me to continue to pursue my career at a higher level.”