Malaysian midfielder Allee Putra Azril is enjoying his new life in Spain - after making a life-changing decision which allowed him to continue his playing career across the other side of the world.
Putra, who is training and playing with the FC Malaga City U17s, settled straight into the academy set-up and life on the south coast of Spain.
The 15-year-old spoke about the decision he and his family made after being accepted into the academy last summer and the desire to play at a high level.
“After I received the letter from FC Malaga City, offering me a place at the academy, my family and I decided it was the best option for me to further my football career to the highest level in Spain," he said.
"Alongside an elite football programme, it allowed me to study Spanish and to explore the Spanish culture.
“Playing and training football has always been a major part of my life as it is also my passion and soul for the sport.
“Unfortunately, I was not always accepted to play at a higher-level team because of my age, even though I technically could - and not because of my skill or talent.
“Football is by far the biggest sport in Malaysia - and I am proud to represent my country in Spain.”
Putra has been a stand-out player for Maxime Oliver’s team and has featured in games against the likes of CD Vazquez Cultural and Portada Alta in the first half of the season.
The midfielder, who can play in a defensive or more attacking role, has enjoyed his time with the academy so far and believes the experiences have been “invaluable”.
He added: “The time that I have been here with FC Malaga City is so invaluable because of the football knowledge and in-game experience that I have gained.
"I've had some really fun times and made some great friends here.”
When asked about what he is hoping to achieve in the second half of the season and beyond, Putra said he wanted to “keep improving” on the pitch and also see if there was a chance of progression to continue playing in Spain.
Putra said: “I hope to keep improving my football skills and knowledge to be the best that I can and I hope to be given the chance to play with a professional team in Spain – so I can stay in Spain and play professional football every day.”