Malik: There’s nowhere I’d rather be

After signing a two-year contract extension with Adelaide United, Osama Malik is sure he is at the right place in his footballing career right now.

The versatile defender and central midfielder revealed that he still has one eye on playing overseas one day, but knows that Adelaide is the best place for him to keep improving before he makes the move.

“I still have ambitions to go off at some stage but I feel as though while I’m still learning and developing I have unfinished business here.

“It’s good to be here for another two years as it’s a great club. You never know what could happen, I have ambitions to challenge myself.”

The local Adelaide boy is 24 and has quite a few years left in the game to reach that top level.

It’s a refreshing thought too, considering a number of young players are very eager to head overseas, and are often never guaranteed first team football at their desired level.

Malik credits a lot to Josep Gombau and the coaching staff for not only his own improvements, but those of others players as well, most notably the recently announced Socceroo Tarek Elrich.

“Since Josep’s come in he’s been fantastic, the growth in the side has been great and you can see this with players like Elrich – he has shown what can happen if you play consistent football week in, week out in the A-League.

“It’s testament to what he’s (Gombau) done for us here and it’s such a good place to be.”

Further to that, Malik said being selected for the Socceroos is definitely one of his goals.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to play for the Socceroos and the biggest thing is getting my body right week in, week out and stringing those games together.

“My body has been feeling good on my current program and I’d really like to get another opportunity back in the team before the end of the season.”

Malik also had some words about our match away to Newcastle Jets on Sunday afternoon, stating that it would be a challenging affair.

“They’ll be a good test since they had a bit of a change over there, it’s always been a hard place to go and they’re improving every week.

“But we also took a lot of confidence out of the game last week so we know that we can get into those good positions against every team.”

The Reds lost away to the Jets 2-1 in Round 11, before redeeming themselves in the return fixture with an emphatic 7-0 victory, so the upcoming tie is sure to be an intriguing one.

Malik is hopeful his side can secure maximum points in their bid to finish top two at the end of the season.

“Until it’s mathematically impossible to steal top shot, I think that should be our aim this season.

“We’re confident that if we can win every game we can get to the top two and that’s what we want - we want to be in the ACL (Asian Champions League) again.” 

Adelaide United will travel to take on Newcastle Jets on Sunday 29 March 2015 at Hunter Stadium in Round 23 of the Hyundai A-League 2014/15 Season. Kick-off at 5:00pm (4:30pm ACDT).