The Wellington Phoenix are turning to a former fan favourite to try and turn their horrid A-League season around after announcing today they had signed Socceroo Nathan Burns once again on a two-year deal.
Wellington Phoenix Nathan Burns in action
Burns had multiple A-League clubs pursuing his signature but the Wellington club managed to get it on the dotted line - an action general manager David Dome shows the club's intentions.
"We're absolutely delighted to have Nathan back," Dome said.
"He's a player with a top, top pedigree, a tremendous work ethic and ambition to succeed and he's somebody that's synonymous with some of the best times we've seen at this club.
"We're not accepting our current position on the table, we haven't given up on this season. We've gone through a major rebuild of our footballing department and it's so positive to see that quality players still want to buy-in into what we're doing."
Burns originally joined the Phoenix for the 2014-15 season after brief stints with Adelaide United and the Newcastle Jets.
The move was a success - Burns top-scored for the club with thirteen goals, guiding Wellington to a fourth finals appearance while winning the Johnny Warren medal for the league's best player.
However, Burns soon departed for Japanese football, transferring to the J-League to play for FC Tokyo and Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
The latest venture didn't quite go to plan though - the magical form he found with the Phoenix disappeared and he managed only three goals in 26 appearances.
"I've had some very positive experiences overseas, but I'm ready to come back," Burns said.
"When I was in Wellington I was playing really well, it was probably the highlight of my career, I had good players around me, guys like Roy and Mikey who are still here, and as soon as I landed again I felt happy to be in the city, it feels like home.
“With the [January window] opening I've had plenty of offers from A-League and around Asia but when I heard Phoenix were keen that was my first choice."
The next home game Burns could feature in would be against the Melbourne Victory on January 10.