Maltese-Australian Adrian Zahra joins Valletta

valletta-fcAustralian-born winger Adrian Zahra is Valletta’s second official signing after agreeing a two-year deal with the club.

Adrian Zahra started his career at an early age with Melbourne Knights before progressing to the senior side for the 2007/08 season. He played nearly every game for the Knights in 2008 off the bench, but was soon loaned out to Western Suburbs SC in 2009 in the Victorian State League Division 1. The following season, he returned to the Knights and capped off a sensational year with the club by receiving the 2010 Victorian Premier League U21 Player of the Year Award.

After playing in an exhibition for A-League side Melbourne Heart against Premier League side Everton in July 2010, he went on to sign a short-term contract with the club. After an impressive extended trial period, in which he scored two goals for Heart, he was signed by the club in December for an extra two years, his contract starting at the beginning of the 2011/12 season.

Zahra continued his excellent run in his first season with the Heart, starting almost every game after his debut, but his season was cut short after an infamous incident during the third Melbourne derby on 22 January 2011. He was tackled by Melbourne Victory’s Kevin Muscat late in the game, which made world-wide headlines. As a result, Zahra sustained a serious knee injury in his right leg. Muscat received a red card for the tackle and was subsequently handed an 8-match ban. He missed the remainder of the season due to the injury.

In April 2012, he joined Perth Glory where he scored three goals in eighteen appearances.

Valletta have earlier appointed Gilbert Agius as their new coach apart from securing the services of goalkeeper Nicky Vella and retained Denni Rocha dos Santos. Abdelkarim Nafti, Hamza Barry and Lateef Elford Alliyu will be retained but Nukri Revishvili and Irakli Maisuradze are set to move to other clubs.