Transfer news: NZ international returns to Phoenix

Striker Shane Smeltz, who won the Golden Boot in his second season with Wellington Phoenix, is returning to the club where he began his Hyundai A-League career.

Smeltz, 35, has signed with the Phoenix for the rest of the 2016-2017 season and is hopeful of earning another contract for next season. 

“I feel younger than ever and can’t wait to get back to Wellington,” Smeltz said.

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“I am physically in top shape as my stint in Malaysia showed.

“I played 18 games in three and a half months at a club that had no physio or doctor, scored 11 goals and played 90 minutes in every game.

Sydney FC striker Shane Smeltz and coach Graham Arnold shake hands after securing a win in this season's ACL.

Smeltz said he was thrilled to be returning to Wellington and is confident he can help the Kiwi club to a finals finish. 

“It is a decision I am comfortable with because I know the club and its environment and Dura and the boys,” he said.

“My wife Nikki knows how important this is to me and is giving me her full support.

“I want to enjoy it and contribute as much as I can to the team.

“My intention is to be successful and the least I want is a top six finish.”

Throughout his A-League career with the Phoenix, Gold Coast United, Perth Glory and Sydney FC Smeltz has always worn the No. 9 shirt but that won’t be possible this time with Kosta Barbarouses already having claimed it.

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“I started off at the Phoenix with No. 9 on my back and it is only fitting that I have two nines this time,” he said. 

“I like the look of it. Ronaldo, the Brazilian, wore the 99 shirt at AC Milan towards the end of his career but this will be the first time in the A-League.”

Smeltz will train with the Phoenix for the first time on Tuesday.