Citing a need to ensure he was playing regularly, Socceroos midfielder Brett Holman believes his move to UAE club Al Nasr is a 'fantastic project'
Australia international midfielder Brett Holman said it was a tough decision to leave English Premier League club Aston Villa and sign for UAE Pro League side Al Nasr.
The 29-year-old joined Villa from AZ Alkmaar before the 2012-13 season, but was not at his best in 29 appearances for the club in all competitions.
He fell out of favour with manager Paul Lambert in the second half of the campaign and said he has moved on in the hope of securing regular first-team football.
Holman knows he needs to be playing regularly if he is to hold his spot for the Socceroos, who qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil with their win over Iraq on June 18.
"It was difficult [leaving Europe] but [this is] a decision that I know I have made with 100 percent of my heart," said Holman after being unveiled at his new club.
"It's a step I wanted to make - it is a fantastic project and it's definitely a big challenge and something I am looking forward to.
"I played under some fantastic coaches, I learnt a lot about football and maybe I can bring that experience to this club and show what I have learnt under Dick Advocaat, Louis Van Gaal and Ronald Koeman.
"It's very important [to play regularly], every player wants to play every game if possible. Obviously there is another goal for me, playing in a World Cup and it is my ambition to play every game for Al Nasr and [getting in the World Cup team] is definitely a goal for me."
Holman said a talk with Socceroos team-mate and former Al Nasr player Mark Bresciano convinced him to sign for the UAE side.
"He just said that his time here, although it was short, he had a great time," he said.
"His family was happy, the football was good, he scored goals and the words he passed on were only positive and made it more comfortable to make my decision."