Malcolm warming to the task

Brisbane Roar utility Bob Malcolm represents an exciting breed of European footballer - one making the trip out to Australia for the experience of playing in the Hyundai A-League, rather than quick cash.

At 28 years of age and in the prime of his career, Brisbane Roar utility Bob Malcolm represents an exciting breed of European footballer - one making the trip out to Australia for the experience of playing in the Hyundai A-League, rather than quick cash.

The fact that Malcolm and other formerly European-based talent like Jason Culina, Joel Porter, Robbie Fowler, Nicky Travis, Karol Kisel, Chris Greenacre and Paul Ifill have made the move to the southern hemisphere for the 2009/10 Hyundai A-League season is one worth noting.

It is an impressive fillip for the status and profile of a competition in just its fifth season.

The Hyundai A-League may not have been on Malcolm's radar at the start of 2009, but the Scotsman - who has enjoyed successful stints in his native land with Scottish Premier League outfits Motherwell and Rangers - was quick to come around to the idea.

"I spoke to my manager back in Scotland and they came up with the idea of playing in Australia and there were a few clubs interested," Malcolm said.

"I just wanted to have a change. I'd played in Scotland for most of my career, apart from two years in England."

"I'd had enough and I just wanted to get away to somewhere else - something different. This is what I settled on."

Aside from his arrival, Malcolm was the source of more good news for Australian football fans when he spoke of the limited differences between the Hyundai A-League and the Scottish Premier League.

"It's basically just the same, for instance when we played Celtic in the pre-season - there was no great difference in standard," he said.

"It's probably more professional back in Scotland, but only in the small things like meetings, pre-match meals and that sort of stuff ... it's just a lot of stupid things, but there is no great gulf in football standard."

"There is no real difference in terms of teams compared to back in Scotland."

Malcolm's signing continued the Roar's long association with Ibrox Stadium.

The imposing enforcer admitted the efforts of former Rangers team-mates Craig Moore and Charlie Miller helped bring him to Brisbane.

"I spoke to Craig Moore and Charlie Miller and they said they'd speak to the manager about coming to Queensland," Malcolm said.

"Once they said that, I decided to come here and didn't speak to any other clubs."

"I was speaking to the lads from Scotland and it was phoning back and forward, just trying to get everything sorted before I came over."

"It was basically done before I got over here."

Just like he did for Miller when the playmaker joined the Roar last year, Moore has extended a warm welcome to good friend Malcolm.

Malcolm has been living at the Roar skipper's house on the Gold Coast while he finds his feet in Australia.

"I'm still staying with Craig," said Malcolm.

"That has helped me out enormously - I've also known his family from the years that we were at Rangers."

"Obviously that's helped, but even the first couple of days I came to training the other boys were brilliant as well, so that's helped me settle in easily."

Malcolm has already enjoyed a fruitful move to the Roar - starting every match to date in either a holding role in the middle, or anchoring the defence.

The Scotsman however was his own harshest critic, especially when fresh in his mind was a wayward pass that resulted in one of four goals in last weekend's loss to Perth Glory.

"The first couple of games I didn't play that well," he said.

"Against Newcastle we won 3-0 and I think that was probably the best I've played this season, and then against Perth we gave them three stupid goals."

"I don't think we're anywhere near our best yet."

Malcolm's progress in the pre-season was reportedly slowed by fitness issues, and the old head admitted the warmth of Brisbane was one issue that caught him off-guard.

"For the first month in Australia I was struggling a little bit with the heat - even though it wasn't hot, but I'm starting to get used to it," he said.

"It's going to get hotter, so hopefully I can stay out of the sun as much as I can and when it comes game time, hopefully it's at night."