MATT Towns’ Maltese adventure has ended, and he’s taking an unusual rout in his bid to return to football in mainland Europe.

The former Moss Rose goalkeeper represented the Mediterranean island’s top teams, Valletta and Floriana, before joining top-division rivals Luxar St Andrew’s.

But despite talks taking place for a return to Floriana, with whom he won the Maltese FA Cup, ‘Townsy’ is furthering his career in the very different landscape of Aegir, a club based on the south coast of Iceland.

And while swapping the sun, sea and sand of Malta for a Scandinavian summer might seem crazy to heatseekers, the 31-year-old says there’s method in his madness, as the standard of football played there offers a better chance of being snapped up on the mainland in time for the 2014/15 season.

“It’s a very different place to Malta, believe me,” he said, not unreasonably. “My contract was up at Luxar St Andrew’s, where I hadn’t played as much as I would have liked.

“I’d agreed a three-year deal to go back to Floriana but Luxar wanted a transfer fee of between 15 and 20 thousand euros and that was never going to happen.

Matt Towns, former Macc Town goalkeeper is now playing in Iceland

“All the personal terms had been agreed and I was asked what I wanted to stay on, but they just couldn’t match the Floriana offer and that was that.

“I’m with a new agent now, he said it would be a good move and take on a fresh challenge.

“I’d bought all my new summer clothes as well, they’ve still got the tags on. I managed to get back to Macc for a few days, I was sunbathing on the terrace there and now it’s a massive change.

“I’ve gone from 25 to 30 degrees to 12, maybe 15 – and it goes dark for about three hours a night.”

While he freely admits that the move north is a means to an end and an autumn move is his aim he did at least make a winning start with Aegir, who’d lost their opening two games of the season before the ‘Towns effect’ saw them win their third match – his debut – 2-1 against Bullesborg.

And there’s the odd British exile over there to keep him going and remind him of home.

Towns is sharing a house with former Swansea City midfielder Liam Killa, who’s also made the switch to Iceland after spells in the Faroe Islands and Estonia.

“I could have just sat on the beach and kept myself fit with a bit of running but I didn’t want to do that – I wanted more experience and another challenge and I wanted to prove doubters wrong.

“And I like it in Iceland, it’s a different lifestyle and a different style of football – the standard here’s very high too – their national team only just missed out on a place in the World Cup whereas the Malta team throw a party when they score a goal!

“When I left Malta it was sunny, now I’m shivering and my face and hands are numb, the standard of football is very high so it’s a short-term step up. I’ll be available for the start of the European seasons.

“I’m not here for the weather anyway, I’m here to do a job and it’s a means to an end, ie getting back to mainland Europe for the season there.

“We’re only three games into the season over here and it runs until September so I’m hoping I’ll have some new opportunities coming up.”