At the tender age of 24, Jeremy Brockie has already bounced around four A-League clubs and played virtually every position on the park.
But the time has come to settle down, in more ways than one.
The newly married All Whites utility yesterday confirmed a three-year deal with the Phoenix and he is also ready to commit to a position – up front, scoring goals.
"The other contracts I've signed at clubs have been one or two-year deals and most of the clubs that I've been at have folded [New Zealand Knights and North Queensland Fury]. Security is a big part of football and I'm looking forward to it," the Nelson product said.
"Obviously being an attacking player you get paid to score goals and you enjoy scoring goals. Hopefully, I can come here, get a good pre-season under my belt and build on my goals tally from last season."
Despite nine goals – many of them spectacular – for the Newcastle Jets last season, Brockie never quite won the trust of tough Aussie coach Gary van Egmond.
Contract talks with the Jets broke down and while Brockie had offers in Asia and interest from America's MLS, Wellington was always his preferred destination.
"The FFA awards night, I was one of the only Newcastle players there so I latched on to the Wellington table and my partner got along with a couple of their partners," Brockie said.
"[Paul] Ifill and [Andrew] Durante, Leo [Bertos] and Browny [Tim Brown] were there from the Wellington side and made us feel welcome to their table. That helps and Ricki [Herbert] had a bit of a word to me then and from there I didn't really look elsewhere."
Brockie married Townsville girl Jessica last month and had to juggle his honeymoon on Hamilton Island with negotiating with the Phoenix.
"It's not ideal but I suppose it's part of football, being an off-contract player. You've got to deal with the negotiations and I always said that we'd get the wedding sorted and enjoy my day there and then sort out my future."
Phoenix coach Herbert returns from England today where he has been visiting All Whites players as well as searching for a new striker at club level.
Herbert will draw up a shortlist of potential targets, although asking prices might be an issue.
The Welnix ownership consortium are preaching financial responsibility and won't sign a marquee player outside of the salary cap.
Chris Greenacre yesterday flew to England, where he will work towards his Uefa A licence.
The off-contract veteran striker is more likely to earn his keep as a coach than a player next season which could open the door for Brockie to strike up a rapport with Ifill.
"I'm looking forward to building a partnership with him and hopefully we can go far and push for a championship," Brockie said.
"The last couple of seasons I've missed a creative player like him to help me further my career."
Meanwhile, the Phoenix are close to re-signing off-contract goalkeeper Mark Paston and midfielder Dani Sanchez.
- © Fairfax NZ News