Smeltz returns to Gold Coast United from Turkey
Gold Coast United have secured the services of favourite son Shane Smeltz who has returned from Turkey. The 29-year old New Zealand international has gained a release from Turkish Super Lig outfit Genclerbirligi and will now saddle up with Gold Coast for the rest of the A-League season.
Smeltz has arrived back in Australia and will link up with his United teammates for training today before hopefully lining up against North Queensland Fury on Friday night.
Smeltz has had a frustrating stint with Genclerbirligi and is now keen to get back on the scoring list with the team he has netted 21 goals in 27 appearances for.
"I'm delighted to be back - really happy. I've always loved the Hyundai A-League since it started and obviously I haven't played as much football as I would have liked in the last five or six months, so I'm just really looking forward to getting back into the swing of things," he said.
"My immediate focus is to try to help out Gold Coast United's situation. I've been following them all season and the team has done well so far but has suffered a bit of a dip recently. Hopefully I can contribute and help everything to start flowing again towards the finals. On a personal level, I just want to get back playing and enjoy myself on the park."
Gold Coast coach Miron Bleiberg was looking forward to having Smeltz back at his disposal as his side strives to find goals during the business end of the season.
"It's great to have Shane back with us and he's come exactly at the right time as our recent results haven't been the best," Bleiberg said.
"We're obviously very happy to sign a proven goalscorer at this point in the campaign and hopefully he can help us achieve what we want to achieve this season.
"Shane will obviously bring his qualities to the field, but also his return will be a big boost for the whole squad. I'm not expecting miracles from him in his first match as he will be a little bit short of match sharpness, but he is familiar with everyone at the club and it won't take him very long to settle back in."