You picked up Wellington’s Golden Boot last season with a neat dozen – six more than next highest scorer, Gui Finkler. What did you make of your own form? It was pretty good for me. But I wanted the club to go to the knockout phase but unfortunately we couldn’t. Hopefully we can do that this time. You’re just four goals shy of Paul Ifill’s club record of 33 goals. Are you chasing history? Yes of course that is something in the back of my mind. But it’s not just about me. I want our team to do well and whatever I can give, I’ll do my best, and if the goals come then that will be a bonus.
With Bonevacia, Barbarouses and Smeltz gone who is there to share the workload?
We’ve got young strikers like Logan Rogerson coming up and Hamish Watson who played pretty much last season. We’ve got depth at the moment especially with the new striker Andrija Kaluđerovic coming in. I think there’s going to be a lot of goals this season. This is your fifth season in the A-League. What are your personal ambitions? Obviously to make the playoffs and win the grand final is something at the back of my mind but I just want us to win every game and to be the club’s top goal scorer.
Do you regret not making the move to Europe in 2009 when PSV Eindhoven were showing interest?
That’s history now and I was very young. I’m happy with that decision. But I’m working hard and hopefully there are more chances to come. You also captain the Fiji national team. Is the A-League big back home? Yes, it’s massive. They’re not showing live games but I think there’s some replays at the moment, but yeah, there’s a lot of followers back at home.
So you’re a hero there?
[Laughs] I don’t know – some people say that.
Are there players back home who you think would do well in the Australian topflight?
There are a lot of good young players in Fiji, they just need opportunities. Rather than going to Brazil and Europe, we can look at our neighbours and there is a lot of potential. Not just in Fiji but in the rest of Oceania as well.
Has the new coach spoken to the team about his expectations in 2017/18?
He just tells us we need to believe in ourselves – work hard and believe in the structure. We have trust in him and so far it’s looking good. Phoenix fell to a late Wanderers goal in the FFA Cup with just seconds remaining in extra time. What did you take from that? We had a pretty young squad and a lot of our first team were missing but we played the game and whatever the coach wanted us to play we played, we delivered. Unfortunately it didn’t go our way but I think we gave it a good go and the young boys came in and filled some big shoes. I was really proud.
Are there any particular young players shaping up for a big season?
The young talent like Rogerson (19) will be a good player to look out for and young Sarpreet Singh (18).