Encouragement from Socceroos goalkeeper Adam Federici and a desire to play outside England convinced new Sydney FC recruit Adam le Fondre to try his luck in the A-League.
Le Fondre, 31, had plied his trade through all four senior levels of English football, in a 14-year career in his home country and was ready for a change while playing for Bolton Wanderers in the second-tier Championship.
The forward was granted a release by Bolton and was unveiled alongside marquee signing Siem de Jong overlooking Sydney harbour on Thursday.
Le Fondre revealed the Central Coast Mariners and Newcastle had expressed an interest in signing him but Sydney's pedigree was a deciding factor.
"When Sydney came in, it made it the decision a little bit easier because obviously they are the biggest club," he said.
Federici, a teammate at Reading where le Fondre top scored in their 2012-13 Premier League campaign, also drew him south.
"He just messaged me near enough every day saying 'Go, you'll enjoy it ... you'll love it out there'," le Fondre said.
"Ultimately, the little kid inside of me said 'you will enjoy it, my family will enjoy it'. I've got to think of them as well."
Le Fondre was relaxed about inheriting the No.9 shirt previously worn by Brazilian striker Bobo, who set a new A-League goal scoring record last season.
"When I realised Sydney were interested in me I researched the club and what happened last season so I'm not fazed by anything like that," he said.
"Where I've gone, I've set records."
Le Fondre expects to thrive at Sydney after been made aware of new coach Steve Corica's attacking philosophy.
"It was right up my street. I can see myself a getting a lot of (goalscoring) chances here," he said.
Australian Associated Press