Holman out to prove UAE move not mistake
He left the English Premier League for the United Arab Emirates and now Brett Holman is out to prove to Socceroos coach Holger Osieck the move won't diminish his quality.
Holman's switch from Aston Villa to UAE Pro League side Al Nasr in June raised plenty of concerns, most significantly with Osieck, who has openly questioned the league's competitiveness and standard.
Midfield star Holman says that makes his time with the Socceroos preparing to take on five-time world champions Brazil in an international friendly in Brasilia on Saturday (Sunday AEST) even more important.
He plans to use every minute under Osieck's watchful eye in team camps to prove he's as sharp as ever.
The German mentor has made a point of stressing that no player's spot is secure for the next year's World Cup.
Asked if Osieck's low regard for the UAE league was a concern Holman said: "No, not really.
"The boss has got his own opinion and that's just what he thinks about that league.
"Obviously I'll just have to change that and show him that I'm not going to lose any quality or fitness or speed or agility just because I've moved to a club outside Europe.
"The times that we're together I'll just have to show him that I'm still the same player that I was in Europe."
After a decade in Holland, Holman made 29 appearances in his maiden EPL season.
But the midfielder fell out of favour with Villa manager Paul Lambert in the second half of the campaign and said he made the move for one reason only - "To play more games than I did last year."
"That was definitely a big thing for me. I know that I'm going to play there."
Holman said he considered playing in lesser European leagues but there were no offers forthcoming and the promise of playing regularly at Al Nasr was too good to refuse, especially with less than a year before the World Cup.
"At that moment when I made my decision there was nothing else available," he said.
"Obviously there was a minute possibility that I would have had another chance at Aston Villa. So that was almost a closed door.
"It was obviously a difficult choice but one where I knew I was going to play and get game time and I think leading up to a massively important tournament next year, that was important.
""The quality is definitely lower in the UAE but the work rate and the professionalism is still the same as in Europe."