Zahra makes Malta move

Former Perth Glory winger Adrian Zahra has joined Maltese club Valletta on a two-year deal but says he has unfinished business in the A-League.

Zahra, who was released by Perth at the end of last season, made his A-League debut with Melbourne City (then Heart) in 2010.

The attacking midfielder joined the Glory in 2012 and made 18 appearances and scored three goals for the club.

“The move to Malta is all about an opportunity to test the waters and play European football," Zahra told FourFourTwo.

"It's something every kid thinks and dreams about when he's younger to always play overseas and for me it's a great opportunity to put my foot in the door and use this as a stepping stone to further my career."

The 23-year-old, who recorded two goals in 10 matches in the 2013-2014 season, admitted it was disappointing not to be staying with Perth.

"It's definitely going to be hard leaving the A-league," he said.

"I've made many friends and have enjoyed every moment playing in front of them and my family at the top level in my country of birth.

“The league itself just keeps getting better and better.

“The standard technically and mentality and the quality - plus the professionalism – they’re all things you take into account when you look at how far our game has come. I'll definitely miss all that.”

He added: "Of course it's disappointing to not stay at a club you've grown to love. The way things ended always left a little bit of a sour taste in my mouth.

“But things are best put in the past now and I'm really looking forward to my next challenge and wishing my old teammates all the best for their upcoming season."

Valetta won the Maltese Premier League last season and will soon play in the qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League against Azerbaijani club Qarabag FK.

Zahra, who has Maltese and Italian heritage, said he wants to test himself as a player.

"Valletta is a great opportunity for myself to see what the standard is like in Europe and a great opportunity for me to play in the Champions League qualifiers and really test myself as a player," he added.

"The club is the biggest in Malta and has always played a part in the Champions and Europa League qualifiers. It has a rich history of winning things domestically.

“I can't wait to be a part of that moving forward.

“The standards are like any other top league. It may not be as physical as the A-League but technically it’s a high standard of football."

A Melbourne Knights junior, Zahra has the left the door open to a future A-League return.

"My first priority is playing good football and impressing here at Valletta FC and, if something potentially comes up in the future, I'll just take it as it comes,” he said.

“My main objective is to excel here in Europe now but of course I'd definitely consider and like to play in the A-league again in the future.

"I think everyone has unfinished business in the A-League or any other league they’re playing in if they haven't won championships and exceeded as far as they could.

“The moment you think you've got nothing more to prove, and don't have that desire anymore, is the moment you need to rethink what you want to do.

"Only those that have been there and done and won can say they don't have unfinished business."


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