Ex-Hyundai A-League star Shane Smeltz is making a comeback, signing with Queensland NPL side Gold Coast United for 2020.
Smeltz, who retired from professional football in 2018, has decided to pull the boots back on again for Kristian Rees’ side.
It’s a return to the club for the 38-year-old striker, who had two stints with United in the Hyundai A-League, scoring 28 goals in just 38 appearances.
“I’ve been coaching at Sydney FC for the last few years and an opportunity came up for myself and the family outside of coaching which has brought us back to the Gold Coast,” Smeltz said.
“That’s allowed me the time and opportunity to pull the boots on again. At heart I’m a Gold Coast boy. I grew up here. I played a lot of my youth football here.
“And linking up again with Reesy, and the others, is really nice. But especially Kristian. I played with him at three different clubs.
“When I think back obviously there’s some fantastic memories here at the club, at Gold Coast United. It’s a great little story in itself.”
Smeltz is the second-highest scorer in Hyundai A-League history with 92 goals from 190 matches.
He is a two-time Hyundai A-League Golden Boot winner and also won the Johnny Warren Medal as the league’s best player in 2008/09.
The German-born striker also scored 24 goals in 58 matches for the New Zealand All Whites, including against Italy at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
“I guess the art of scoring goals comes from your journey at the start,” Smeltz said.
“I was a midfielder and it just happened to be I was scoring enough goals to justify being used upfront and ever since I made it my goal to hone that art of scoring goals and it’s something I’ve loved.”
“It’s what I’ve done all my career. I pride myself on setting and achieving certain standards and that’s served me well,” he added.
“This season for me I’d like to win the league. It’s that simple. I always want success. I’m a competitive person.”
United also have former Hyundai A-League defender Michael Thwaite on their books.
And Smeltz and Thwaite the pair could both be seen in the Yellow and Blue as soon as this weekend as United travels to Richlands this Sunday to take on Western Pride at 7pm (local time) in the first of three games in the annual pre-season tournament hosted by Lions FC.