New Sydney FC signing Shane Smeltz says joining the club was “an easy decision” and insists he’s not over the hill after a career-low A-League goals return.
The 32-year-old only managed four goals in an injury-cursed 2013-14 season with Perth Glory where he battled ankle and groin problems.
Smeltz blames missing pre-season and playing catch-up for his wretched run with injuries which restricted him to only 13 appearances.
The former Johnny Warren medallist and two-time A-League Golden Boot winner told FourFourTwo he was injury free and would be ready for day one of Sydney’s pre-season which he believes can help him rediscover his career-best form.
“I’ve got plenty more football left in me,” Smeltz said.
“I haven’t felt this way in a while, in terms of having that focus for the season. For me it starts now.
“The aim is to get down there, work with (strength and conditioning coach) Andrew Clark and the coaching staff and have a really good pre-season.”
Recently appointed Sky Blues boss Graham Arnold has never previously worked with Smeltz but got in touch with him last week to discuss a possible move.
Smeltz was full of excitement at the prospect of linking up with the ex-Central Coast boss which he said made the decision to join the club easy, despite only penning a one-year deal.
“In the end it was quite an easy decision,” Smeltz said. “I’m certainly happy to come and play under him.
“He told me his plans. He’s an ambitious person which comes out in his coaching, style and manner and I want to achieve things.
“You speak to players in the A-League and you hear good things, everyone loves working under him.
“In general, he’s really well respected in Australia. He’ll bring out the best in me.”
Smeltz added: “It’s the first time I’ve signed a one-year deal. I’m completely happy with it. I’m confident in my body and really looking forward to knuckling down and having a great pre-season.”
The ex-Wellington Phoenix and Gold Coast United striker’s three-year stint at Perth was the longest of his professional career and said he felt he needed a move to refresh his body and mind.
“I’d been there three years and certainly enjoyed my time there but it felt like the time was right,” the New Zealand international said.
“There’s a few changes going on. I felt the timing was perfect to move on and have a fresh challenge.”
And Smeltz insisted he was confident his fitness wouldn’t be an issue moving ahead.
“The body is great,” he said. “That’s the biggest thing I’m excited about, it’s completely under control now.
“It’s the first time I’ve sat in this position in a few years ready to go from day one of pre-season which is great.”comments