The Wellington Phoenix's new striker has flown halfway around the world to join his new team – just, not in Wellington.
Tomer Hemed has joined the team at their temporary Wollongong home after the club was forced to relocate back to Australia once again due to Covid-19.
Hemer told 1 NEWS he’s used to travelling, having played for plenty of clubs throughout his 16-year career, but he admitted it took him a little longer to settle down this time.
“When you join a new team in normal life, it takes one day; you just go there, you sign, you meet everyone, you start training,” he told 1 NEWS.
“But in this situation, a part of the travel from Europe, I had to do the two weeks quarantine.”
The 33-year-old started quarantine in Australia at the end of November and with the season looming, he worked hard to maintain his fitness for the upcoming season.
On Sunday, after less than three weeks training with the team, he made his debut for the Wellington side in their season-opening 1-0 loss to Sydney FC.
Adding to his big week, though, was the fact he was also reunited with his wife and three daughters who finally arrived from London.
“It was very emotional the moment they arrived here. They hugged me so strong and it was a very nice moment,” he said.
“Now, when I'm going for training they are still nervous in the morning when I'm leaving home but I'm telling them, ‘Don’t worry, this time it's only for a few hours.'”
Hemed said his wife, Shunit, worked harder than he did in preseason, considering she travelled and quarantined with their one-, three- and six-year-olds so he could join the Phoenix.
“She had to come from London to New Zealand with the three little girls to do the quarantine and then to come here to Sydney to join me so she had a very long trip and travel,” he said.
“I think you need to do the interview with her — she's the real hero here.”
Back on the field, Hemed is hoping to get more minutes under his belt as the Phoenix look to bounce back tomorrow against MacArthur FC.
“I think for me, I used to play in very tough leagues. It will be quite quick; I will get used to the league and rhythm and I will be ready very soon for 90 minutes every game.”