Australian Four Four Two - - HYUNDAIA-LEAGUE -

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).

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