Zesh Rehman: The key to surviving Asia

LEAVE ON GOOD TERMS

It’s very important to leave the club on good terms and to leave the doors open.

When import players leave under a cloud they often don’t finalise the bills at their apartment, mistreat the club car or act very unprofessionally.

This is a big no-no because wherever you go next, they will require your international transfer certificate, which is in the hands of your last club to transfer over. So a spanner in your next move could easily be thrown in.

When I left Muangthong for Kitchee, I helped the club return to Thailand to play pre-season games there. After leaving Kitchee, I managed to return to Hong Kong with Pahang for pre-season and Kitchee kindly arranged discounted hotel rates for Pahang so it just goes to show the importance of leaving on good terms.

EMBRACE IT ALL

My daughter was born in Hong Kong and my son was born in Malaysia. At both pregnancies, I had an in-depth chat with my wife and we decided for the kids to be born in those countries because we were enjoying it so much and the birth were at crucial times of the season in Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Playing overseas is a wonderful life and football experience if you become totally immersed in it, show commitment and treat it as home.

My daughter was born in Hong Kong and my son was born in Malaysia. At both pregnancies, I had an in-depth chat with my wife and we decided for the kids to be born in those countries because we were enjoying it so much and the birth were at crucial times of the season in Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Both clubs were fantastically supportive and it was the best decision we made as that season in Hong Kong, we did the treble and also in 2014 with Pahang we ended up doing the treble.

I was fortunate to have a very supportive and understanding wife, otherwise it could have been very different!

SETBACKS

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Be prepared for set-backs

In football, setbacks occur all the time. In Asia, players will find it’s no different. It may be an injury, change in coach, late salary, change in venue for training at the last minute, losing important games and etc.

The key to overcoming this is to focus on the controllable and make sure you stay on top of your own preparation and performances first.

Too often players and coaches get wrapped up in the things they can’t control which ultimately leads to more setbacks and a shift in focus which can prove costly.

ENJOY IT!!

Amidst all of the pressure and expectation, never forget why you started playing football and try to enjoy it.

If you’re doing everything on this list you will find you may enjoy it a little bit more!

Photos: LionsXII (Unless stated otherwise)