Zesh Rehman is edging closer to a decision on where he will play his football next season.
The former Fulham, QPR and Bradford defender spent the second half of last season with Gillingham and helped the Gills preserve their League One status by avoiding relegation.
The well-travelled centre-back played in Thailand, Hong Kong and Malaysia before returning to England earlier this year and Rehman revealed he is now weighing up his options for next season.
“I’d spent the last six years playing out in Asia so it was nice to be back [on the pitch again in England] last season and nice to be back with my family,” Rehman told Sky Sports at Chelsea’s Asian Star event at Stamford Bridge.
“I’ve got two or three options in the UK and overseas so I will probably wait till next week before making my decision.
“I’ve got to make the decision that’s right for my family and for the next stage of my career but I’ve enjoyed playing here and in Asia.”
Rehman became a popular figure with the fans and with his team-mates during his brief spell at the Priestfield Stadium. And the 33-year-old hopes Gillingham can push on next season and build on the 20th-place finish the club achieved last term.
“I loved it down at Gillingham even if things were not very easy because we were in a battle against relegation,” he said.
“The games were tough because everybody was fighting for their lives but I’ve played in relegation battles before so I know what they are all about.
“My remit was to help the team stay up, which I did. We won a few games and we lost a few but the team stayed up [that was the important thing] and it was an experience I really enjoyed.
“It won’t be easy [for Gillingham next season]. At that level, it’s difficult because you have the big boys that come down from the Championship and the differences in team budgets can be millions, so if they can get in and around the play-offs next season it would be a great achievement.”
Returning to England has given Rehman more time to spend on his social cohesion project, the Zesh Rehman Foundation (ZRF), which he founded in 2010.
“There are a few young people [through the ZRF] that have entered the professional game with a number of London clubs including Crystal Palace and that is great,” the Birmingham-born defender explained.
“But the ZRF is not about that, it’s about producing more rounded people and giving youngsters opportunities and pathways into education and employment.
“It’s not just about producing footballers and coaches. It’s about helping kids get some purpose and direction in their life so that they can go on and become role models within their own communities.”