FORMER Aston Villa midfielder Brett Holman said it was a tough decision to leave Europe and sign for UAE Pro League side Al Nasr.
The 29-year-old joined Villa from AZ Alkmaar last year, but fell out of favour with manager Paul Lambert in the second half of the 2012-13 season.
After 29 games with Villa, Holman said he has moved on in the hope of securing regular first-team football.
Holman needs to be playing regularly if he is to continue being picked by Australia, who qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil earlier this month.
"It was difficult (leaving Europe) but (this is) a decision that I know I have made with 100 percent of my heart," said Holman after being unveiled at his new club.
"It's a step I wanted to make - it is a fantastic project and it's definitely a big challenge and something I am looking forward to.
"I played under some fantastic coaches, I learnt a lot about football and maybe I can bring that experience to this club and show what I have learnt under Dick Advocaat, Louis Van Gaal and Ronald Koeman.
"It's very important (to play regularly), every player wants to play every game if possible. Obviously there is another goal for me, playing in a World Cup and it is my ambition to play every game for Al Nasr and (getting in the World Cup team) is definitely a goal for me."
Holman said a talk with Socceroos team-mate, and former Al Nasr player, Mark Bresciano convinced him to sign for the UAE side.
"He just said that his time here, although it was short, he had a great time," he said.
"His family was happy, the football was good, he scored goals and the words he passed on were only positive and made it more comfortable to make my decision."