St Johnstone striker Guy Melamed is keeping his options open for international football after scoring his first goal for his club.
The Israeli-born frontman has Lithuanian parents so is eligible to play for both countries.
He got off and running for Saints with a goal at Tannadice on Tuesday night as Saints drew 2-2 with Dundee United in the Premiership and is now looking to kick on.
Melamed looked lively and dangerous and, watching him trouble the Tangerines’ defence, you were left wondering why he hasn’t made more of an impact for Callum Davidson’ s side this season.
That could all change now, with the frontman making it difficult for Davidson to leave him out the starting line-up for Saturday’s home clash with St Mirren.
Asked about his hopes of possible international football, Melamed said: “I still don’t give up on that.
“As well as Israel, I also have Lithuania as a possibility.
“Two years ago, I was talking with them about the national team but it didn’t work out.
“The coach of Lithuania came to see me but it didn’t work out because of paperwork and things like that.
‘I still believe in myself’
“My parents were born in Lithuania and have passports so this is an option but I prefer to play in Israel.
“Now I just focus on the team (St Johnstone).
“I believe that, if I am good here, I will go into the national team.
“I still believe in myself. I am 28 so am still young and I am still fit.
“To play in the national team is a good target.”
Melamed admitted it has taken him time to adjust to life in Scotland, especially during the pandemic.
It seems he got a little bit homesick before quickly dismissing those thoughts to concentrate on making a go of it at McDiarmid.
He said: “It was a good start for me (to score against United) and now I believe it will be better if I play more, stay positive all the time and work hard in training.
“I have changed my style to be more like the Scottish game.
‘I hope we will see fans at football soon’
“It’s a bit different here. It is more physical, more intense and the training is harder than in my country but I think I am ready now. I hope to score more and help the team.
“I am a player that plays for the crowd – they give me motivation – and this is a bad time for football without fans. I hope we will see them soon.
“The atmosphere around is a bit scary with Covid all the time in our mind but we are professional and we focus on the next game.”
Melamed was asked if he has felt lonely at times, replying: “Yes. My girlfriend came to visit last month but she couldn’t stay (because she is studying).
“When the lockdown finishes, my family will come to visit me.
“It’s not easy to be alone but for football I’m prepared to give everything.
“We are in close contact. I just have to wait until my family can come and see me play in the stadium.
“I never thought about leaving in January.
“Inside, in my thoughts, I always thought that I wanted to stay and fight until the end of the season and then we will see what happens.
“I always believed that I could play and score and give a lot for the team.
“I think we have all seen in the game (against United) that I can bring more. I hope to continue with this.”