FORMER English Premier League and Wales star Joe Ledley believes the A-League is a similar standard to Major League Soccer in the US and has hinted at extending his stay at the Newcastle Jets.
Ledley, 33, was midway through a short-term deal when the A-League was postponed on March 24 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He has returned to his family home in the UK city of Cardiff to be with wife Ruby and children Layla, 9, Reeva, 4, and Hendricks, 2.
The midfielder has been following a training program in the hope that the A-League will resume and spoke glowingly of his time in Newcastle on BBC podcast, Eli James' Football Feast.
The football show features Ledley's former teammate Danny Gabbidon and fellow Welsh international Iwan Roberts.
The Jets are coached by another former Welsh international in Carl Robinson, who head hunted Ledley.
Asked how he found the A-League, Ledley said: "I didn't know anything about the league when I signed. The standard is a lot better than what I thought.
"There are some good players, especially in our team. With the players we have got, and with Carl coming in, he has completely changed it. We had lost one in six games at the end and could still push for a play-off position. It's nice and relaxed and we play good possession-based football, which I like."
Ledley has played 77 games for Wales, was one of their stars at the 2016 European Championships, spent four seasons in the Premier League for Crystal Palace and won titles with Scottish club Celtic. Although the A-League is a step down, Ledley rates it highly.
"I think the A-League is a bit disrespected," he said. "I think it is just as good as MLS. It is an entertaining league and always end-to-end football.
"When I went there, I knew we had Wes Hoolahan in our team. He is an unbelievable player. He has still got it and the fans love him. He has been unfortunate because he got injured just before the start of the season.
"When you start playing against other teams you see there are quite a lot of English players, some of them even from the Premier League and Championship and Scottish Premier League."
Ledley had been training with League Two club Newport County before joining the Jets. He was on the verge of signing with the south Wales outfit but opted to be part of Robinson's revolution in Australia.
"I had my squad number and everything was sorted," Ledley said of the Newport deal. "When Carl got the job at the Jets, he wanted me to sign for longer in Australia. I didn't want to go over there, not enjoy it and want to come home. I signed until the end of the season and have loved it.
"I felt bad on Newport because it seemed like I used them to train. But it wasn't like that at all. They were a great group of boys, good professionals, good manager. I just wanted to try something different.
"I have always wanted to play abroad ... to say I have tried a different place, a different culture."
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