Australian forward Brendon Santalab has revealed he will return home within the next two years.
The 28-year old is currently in China with Chengdu Blades, who gained promotion back to the Chinese Super League in 2010 after being relegated for match-fixing, and says that he still harbours ambitions to play in his homeland.
“Obviously at some stage I’d love to come back. I’ve just got to see what happens this season in China and see what the options are – if there are options – at the end of this contract (which expires at the end of 2011),” the former Sydney man told Australian Football Weekly.
“Whether it’s next year or the year after, I’d say I’ll be back in Australia.
“I’ve had a lot of experience and hopefully when I come back to the A-League I can put all that together and I can be the best player I’ve ever been when I come back.
“It’s been a great experience, I’ve seen a lot, I’ve achieved a fair bit and I just hope it makes me a better player.”
And Santalab admitted it was tough at first assimilating to life in Chengdu, in southwest China, but said his mentality helped him get through the hard times.
“It’s not easy leaving Australia, probably one of the best countries to live in the world,” he added.
“As soon as I got there I was told it’s not going to be easy, but I’ve gone there and adapted and accepted their way of living. It’s made my life and football easier.
“It’s made my mentality quite clear, that I’m there for football, and you just get on with things.”