Melbourne City FC defender Kew Jaliens has moved on from his acrimonious exit from Newcastle, saying the opportunity to join City as an injury replacement was one he couldn't refuse.
After leaving the Jets earlier in the year, the former Newcastle captain looked elsewhere for game time and Melbourne City gave the former Dutch international a lifeline, saying he just wanted to play football again.
“For me, it’s all about enjoying the game and if it’s not at Newcastle, it’s here and Melbourne City FC gave me the opportunity to keep on going,” Jaliens said.
“It was tough coming over immediately and playing the full 90 (minutes) against Perth but I think being longer with the boys and adapting to the situation, I think I’ve been alright.”
Jaliens, who worked with Head Coach John van’t Schip in the Dutch national team, believed that the Club was heading in the right direction with not only the new City Football Academy in Melbourne, but the professional culture at the Club.
“In terms of clubs setting plans for the future, this is where it should be. I’ve played in Europe most of my career and things like this would be normal in Europe but for the A-League, this is where everybody has to go,” Jaliens said.
“Orlando (Engelaar) is a very good mate of mine so I’ve chatted with him quite a few times as well and he told me about the culture, about the Club and being here now, it has confirmed the things he’s told me. The Club wants to go forward, especially with the new facilities and everything that's happened so it's heading towards the right direction.”
But for the Dutchman, the focus in the short term is helping Melbourne City FC pick up a finals berth and anything beyond his six week stint will be a bonus.
“For now, it is as in injury replacement but I like what I see, I feel comfortable with the team and if there is a longer stay, then I will look at it that’s for sure,” Jaliens said.
“But the focus is on finals and if you have ambitions to make the finals, these are the games you have to win. There are three good opportunities for us to get the three points and that's how you approach it as well.”Melbourne City FC take on the Central Coast Mariners this Sunday at Central Coast Stadium, kick-off 3pm before facing the Western Sydney Wanderers on Wednesday at Pirtek Stadium, kick-off 7:30pm.