LUKE Gambin wants to combine his international career with a Colchester United promotion push, this season.

The 26-year-old, who joined the U’s last month and featured in their 2-0 friendly win at Dulwich Hamlet last night, has won 17 caps for Malta so far and represented them in their recent Euro 2020 qualifiers against Sweden and Romania.

Gambin, who qualifies for Malta through his grandparents, has in the past been forced to miss club games because of his international commitments and admits it can be tricky to combine the two.

However, the former Luton Town attacker has vowed to give everything for both club and country, in the forthcoming 2019-20 campaign.

Gambin told the Gazette: “International football is important to me but so is club football.

“The only problem with being an international is that you miss games.

“It’s difficult to juggle it but the MFA are really good with me and sometimes, I’ve gone for a game and then come back for an FA Cup game or something.

“It’s very important to me and my family but club football is important too.

“I recently flew out to Malta for three weeks – we played Sweden in Stockholm and then Romania.

“I had about a week when I got back and I tried to relax a little bit.

“You’re obviously a bit nervous about going back but it’s just about ticking over and seeing that last week out before returning for pre-season.”

Gambin signed a two-year deal with Colchester with an option for a further year after being released by Luton, at the end of last season.

The former Crawley Town loanee is capable of playing on either flank or in a central attacking role but insists he has happy to play anywhere for the U’s.

“Versatility can work in your favour or it can work the other way,” he said.

“I get moved around a lot – I play on the left, on the right and behind the striker.

“As long as I’m playing I’m happy and wherever I can help in the team and where the manager sees me playing, I’m happy to play and I’ll do a job.”

Gambin has made nearly 200 league and cup appearances since making his professional debut for Barnet against AFC Wimbledon, in 2012.

He enjoyed a new lease of life on loan at Crawley last season and is hoping for more of the same this season, with Colchester.

He said: “My career so far has been up and down.

“At some clubs I’ve been at I haven’t played as much as I’d have wanted to and that’s been frustrating.

“I went out on loan to play (at Crawley) but I feel good and fit and I’m at an age now where I can push on now and kick on.

“Colchester were unfortunate not to make the play-offs, last season.

“I was watching from afar and it’s the little details in this league.

“Unfortunately, for them it didn’t really work out last season but the beauty of football is that there’s always another game or another season.

“I’m sure the lads will be raring to go and looking forward to the start of the season.”