Erik Paartalu says he is thrilled to return to the Hyundai A-League with the new-look Melbourne City FC after spending the past two years playing in China and Thailand.
Paartalu, a former midfielder for Brisbane Roar, believes he is mentally and physically stronger from his experiences abroad, and is delighted about returning to the Hyundai A-League on a four-year deal with the Club.
“I’ve only been here 24 hours, but already I have a great feeling for the city and for the team,” Paartalu said.
“I think this Club is heading in the right direction. It’s a great Club and I’m sure all of the players are proud to be here – and I am no exception.
“It’s certainly a team that will go from strength to strength and I want to be a part of it, I can’t wait to get started.”
Paartalu returns to the Hyundai A-League after two seasons abroad with Tianjin Teda (Chinese Super League) and Muangthong United (Thai Premier League) and believes he is a more rounded player on his return to Australia’s national competition.
“It was a good experience when I was playing [overseas],” Paartalu said.
“I had a season in China and a season in Thailand and they were different experiences but I definitely learned a lot from them and I come back to the A-League a stronger player both mentally and physically.”
Paartalu’s return will also be met with a few familiar faces, with former teammates Massimo Murdocca, Andrew Redmayne and Iain Ramsay now at Melbourne City FC.
“Massimo and Redders I have played before [at Brisbane Roar] and Iain Ramsay I played with in Scotland,” Paartalu said.
“There’s a good bunch of boys here and a good blend of experience and young players as well so all the dynamics are there.
“Obviously I am a bit older and a bit more experienced having travelled around, so it definitely helps going into new different environment having players you already know.
“I want to be around good players and that was one of the reasons around joining with Melbourne, there are a great bunch of players.”
Paartalu said he was looking forward to the growing competition for places in Melbourne City FC’s midfield.
“I’ve been lucky enough to play with Aaron [Mooy] at the national team and he is an unbelievable midfielder and obviously there are players like Massimo and [Robert] Koren in there.
“It’s a great blend and hopefully I can add something a little bit different.
“I’m just here to play football for Melbourne and take my first steps forward with the Club and see what happens. I’m not thinking too far into the future, I just want to make a good impression with my new teammates and get started."
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