When Aston Villa signed Brett Holman on a free transfer from Dutch side AZ Alkmaar their was understandable excitement about the deal.
He had been in great form in Dutch football and was one of the more sought after talents in the Eredivisie. He impressed in pre-season for the club, scoring on his debut against Burton Albion and hope was high that the Australian would become a big feature for The Villains.
Unfortunately that never happened. For some reason he never quite adapted to the English game, and when Paul Lambert came in to replace Alex McLeish his playing time was always going to be a struggle.
So after one season, 29 games and two goals, he left, his contract terminated by mutual consent.
This weekend he has been speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald about his time at Villa Park, insisting he has no regrets but also hinting that perhaps he rushed into choosing Villa as his destination:
"No regrets at all...there was that childhood dream I had as a kid growing up in western Sydney and watched Mark Viduka score a hat-trick and Harry Kewell and the other boys play in the Premier League. I thought going to Aston Villa was the chance of a lifetime. Villa wasn’t in the best shape ... but who knows if another club would have come around and knocked on the door? There is never that guarantee so once that offer came in there was never any hesitation on my part.
It probably wasn’t the best of seasons, but I can look back and say I experienced it, that I played at Anfield and that St James Park was crammed with 50,000 Geordies going crazy. In one way it was a bad thing, but I did see Manchester United win a title when they bashed us at Old Trafford and Robin van Persie scored a hat-trick."
Nowadays Holman is enjoying his football in Qatar with Al-Nasr - where things are certainly going much better for him than they did in the Midlands in 2012-13. He recently retired from international football in order to prolong his career. He may never play in the Premier League again, as not many would gamble on a Villa flop, but a nice career into retirement in Dubai. That doesn't sound to bad to me.