19 Dec 2016

Smeltz returning to Wellington

7:35 am on 19 December 2016

All Whites striker Shane Smeltz is returning to the club where he began his Hyundai A-League career.

Shane Smeltz in action for the Phoenix back in 2008.

Shane Smeltz in action for the Phoenix back in 2008. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Smeltz, 35, has signed with the Phoenix for the rest of the 2016-2017 season as the club continues to try and climb the A-League ladder.

The striker played 39 games for the Phoenix between 2007-09, scoring 21 goals.

Smeltz crossed the Tasman to play for Gold Coast United in the A-League before going on to joining the Perth Glory and then Sydney FC.

His most recent stint was with Malaysian Super League club Kedah where he scored nine goals in appearances.

"I feel younger than ever and can't wait to get back to Wellington," Smeltz said.

"I am physically in top shape as my stint in Malaysia showed.

"I played 18 games in three and a half months at a club that had no physio or doctor, scored 11 goals and played 90 minutes in every game.

"I am stronger than when I was at the Phoenix the last time."

Smeltz said he was over the moon to be returning to Wellington.

"It is a decision I am comfortable with because I know the club and its environment and Dura (Phoenix captain Andrew Durante) and the boys," he said.

"My wife Nikki knows how important this is to me and is giving me her full support."

Smeltz said it felt amazing to be going back to where it began.

"I want to enjoy it and contribute as much as I can to the team.

"My intention is to be successful and the least I want is a top six finish."

Smeltz will train with the Phoenix for the first time on Tuesday.