Coolen thanks Fury for Malik

Adelaide coach Rini Coolen has extended his appreciation to North Queensland Fury after the Townsville-based club allowed an early release for midfielder-turned-stopper Osama Malik.

Adelaide coach Rini Coolen has extended his appreciation to North Queensland Fury after the Townsville-based club allowed an early release for midfielder-turned-stopper Osama Malik.

Malik would have joined United in time for the next A-League campaign after agreeing to a deal in December, but with the Reds losing Iain Fyfe to K-League club Busan I'Park at the end of the month, Adelaide sought an early release for the 20-year-old.

Coolen thanked the Fury for allowing the transfer to be completed ahead of schedule but said Malik won't be in the squad when the two sides meet on Friday.

Malik, who returns to United after he debuted for the Reds in the 2008 World Club Cup, is nursing a slight hamstring injury and Coolen conceded he may be used the plug the hole in the centre of defence.

"I think we were looking to have him in our squad as soon as possible. We thank the Fury for that as well to let it happen," he said.

"He's definitely not in the squad for the game against the Fury - that makes sense. If it was possible, I wouldn't even ask him to play against his mates."

"He's coming back from injury, he's doing well at the moment so we prepare him for the games after. I saw him in a lot of games playing as a central defender, he can play there easily but normally he's more a midfield player."

Malik signed with the Reds Youth League squad for the 2008-09 season after was plucked from Adelaide Super League club Raiders.

While his A-League opportunities with United were limited, Malik impressed during the Reds World Club Cup campaign before he was snapped up by the Fury.

The speedster admitted it was a welcome return to Adelaide after securing his future with the Reds, while the uncertainty surrounding North Queensland's future lingers.

"It's very good to be home," Malik said.

"The family is happy and I'm happy to be back so it's really good. It's a hard situation at the moment, not knowing what's happening next year."

"I loved my time up there, everyone was great so I really hope the club sticks around for another season at least and in years to come they'll still be around."

"At the end of the day we've got a career to secure and that's what some of us had to do. When the opportunity to come here came my way I couldn't really knock it back because it was such a great opportunity."