He may be a new kid on the block but Jared Bloor intends to be here for the long haul.
"I was always going to be here so I plan to be here for a while," the Cru Bar Maycenvale United striker says before their opening Central League match against his former team Western Suburbs (Wellington).
The 24-year-old tiler, who commuted to the capital city last winter from Palmerston North to play for Suburbs, has settled in Taradale, Napier, where his girlfriend, Katie Hubbard, 21, hails from.
The pair met when she was studying at the teachers' college at Massey University in Palmy.
"I put my feelers out and my good friend, Josh Margetts [also from Palmy] said to get in touch with Dion Adams [Vale coach]."
The former YoungHeart Manawatu right-footed player is in his fourth winter league, having played twice for Palmerston North Marist, but he gave the ASB Premiership a miss this summer.
"I just wanted a break. I got quite sick of it and we were struggling. We [Manawatu] got three draws in the whole season," Wanganui-born Bloor says, adding all the elite YoungHeart players ended up playing for Hawke's Bay United.
He had initially contacted Bluewater Napier City Rovers but the club gave him no assurance of game-time whereas Vale did.
Having arrived here only a fortnight ago, Bloor finds his Maycenvale teammates to be hard-working blokes, albeit still trying to find a sense of cohesiveness among new faces.
"We look good and Wellington's Rafael De Gregorio is a very good midfielder," he said. Bloor also feels that coach Adams is capable of playing and fits in nicely as "one of the boys" while still commanding everyone's attention.
He grins, realising he'll be playing against some of his mates in Western Suburbs tomorrow in the 2pm kick-off at the Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park in Hastings.
Shane Rufer has stepped down as Suburbs coach with manager and club stalwart Lloyd O'Keefe at the helm this season.
Bloor sees himself as a versatile striker.
"I like to be in a one-on-one situation with the keeper," he explains, adding he's likely to have a penchant for shooting once he finds himself in the 18m box although he's quite adept at becoming provider, too.
His father Simon Bloor, council employee, introduced him to the game when he was 5 years old.
From there he made myriad of age-group Central Football representative teams while honing his skills.
When he left Wanganui High School, Bloor gravitated to Hamilton for a year where he made it into the Waikato under-19 squad.
"I was there with players like Chris Wood and Marcos Rojas," Bloor says of Wood, who is a West Bromwich Albion striker on loan to Bristol City competing in the English Championship and fellow All White Rojas, who is playing for Melbourne Victory in the A-League.
Teacher David Edmondson, who coached him at Wanganui High, enticed him to Waikato.
No doubt, Bloor also wants to make the Hawke's Bay United cut at the end of the season.
"I want to be free of injuries and score some goals this winter and if I get noticed, I should make the cut," he says of the Bay's ASB Premiership franchise team.
Cru Bar Maycenvale United: GK Kyle Baxter, GK Lucain MacDonald, Arnold Keni, Brendan Adema, Sam Stove, Chris Tafoa, Lee Jackson, Nick Lucas, Kieran Venema, Bjorn Christensen, Joshua Margetts, Rafael De Gregorio,
Javier Gonzales, Michael Fifi, Karol Kakate, Jared Bloor, Joachim Rande.
Coach: Dion Adams.
Manager: Dennis Frater.
Western Suburbs: Matt Borren, Matt McKay, Scott Henderson, Isaiah Dayman, Cameron Manclark, Trent Watson, Billy Scott, Josh Chettleburgh, Michael Fraser, Martyn Coleman, Tomas Mosquera, Conor Tinnion, Ethan Cain, Hayden Flett, Matt Wilson, Dane Raynor, Marco Comparini, Gowan Stares, Hayden Sander, Corey Chettleburgh.
Coach: Lloyd O'Keefe.