McKain makes Malaysian move

Australian defender Jon McKain has signed with Malaysian Super League club Kelantan but is not ruling out a return to the A-League in the future.

McKain spent three years with Adelaide United but his contact with the Reds ran out at the end of last season.

The 32-year old defender has agreed to a two-year deal with Kelantan.

“An agent, Zelko Susa with James Hardy, contacted me and asked me whether or not I would consider playing in Asia and more specifically in Malaysia,” McKain said.

“I told him I would be interested and that I'd like to go and have a look at everything before I signed any contract.  

“Once I had a look at the set up in Kota Bharu and had a quick look around Malaysia, I met the club president, the CEO and the head coach.

“My decision was easily made after these conversations and what I had observed in Malaysia.”

McKain admits he knew little about Malaysian football when he first received the offer. 

“Not a great deal apart from the passion from the supporters,” he said.

“I've done a lot of research on the league, spoken to quite a few players that have played there or a currently there, to help educate myself.

“Brendan Gan plays at my club currently so that’s been a massive help.  Also I speak to Ryan Griffiths and Spase Dilevski about the Malaysian Super league in general.”

McKain broke into the National Soccer League with the Brisbane Strikers in 1999 and spent six years playing in Romania.

Capped 16 times by the Socceroos, the centre back spent a season with Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia in between stints with the Wellington Phoenix and Adelaide.

McKain, who made nearly 100 appearances for the Reds and captained the club, remains disappointed about the way his departure from Adelaide was handled.

“My family and I were very settled and we had made Adelaide our home and wanted and planned to stay,” he said.

“I was offered a one-year ‘low’ deal in January and told that it was just a starting point, with no time constraints and that the deal would be improved over the next few months.  

“It never did and if fact was taken off the table all together after our season finished, with not one word as too why.

“Not one person from the club has spoken to me since, barring the coach. The lack of communication, which I deem as a lack of respect, is why I was disappointed.”

McKain still hopes his old club can claim some silverware this season.

“You can see the combination of a quality playing group, along with a very good coach what can happen,” he said.

“I love watching them play and they will be there or thereabouts come next May. I really hope they can win the league this year and I wish the players, the coaching staff and the supporters nothing but the best.”

McKain said he is open to coming back to the A-League at some point.

“I'd never rule anything out,” he added.

“There were some options when I left Adelaide to stay in the A-League but as soon as this option came up, it felt right straight away.

“I am very excited about starting a new adventure in Malaysia and can't wait to get over there and start training.”