Football club took punt on eager goalkeeper which has been rewarded, 200 times over
When the A-League was formed in 2005, Glen Moss emailed all eight foundation clubs to offer his services.
Only two bothered replying, and one of those was a short response saying they weren't interested. Now, over a decade later, the Wellington Phoenix goalkeeper is about to become just the 18th double-centurion in A-League history.
"I feel privileged," said Moss, on the eve of game 200 against Sydney FC tonight.
"To be in the competition for 11 years is something I never thought I would achieve."
The club that did respond to Moss' email in the affirmative was the New Zealand Knights.
They cautiously agreed to have a look at him playing for Sydney Olympic in the New South Wales State League with a view to possibly signing him, which they eventually did on a one-year contract as back-up to Australian Danny Milosevic. Moss played nine games in his debut season before jetting off to play in Romania.
It was during his time at Dinamo Bucharest that Ricki Herbert came calling, looking for players for the Knights' A-League replacements, the Wellington Phoenix.
"He mentioned he was bringing as many All Whites boys back as he could. When he rattled off names like Tim Brown, Tony Lochhead and Smeltzy[Shane Smeltz], I thought I'd love to come back," remembers Moss.
Another recruit at the Phoenix was fellow All Whites goalkeeper Mark Paston, who was ahead of Moss in the pecking order. However, the day before the Phoenix's first ever A-League game, Paston was inadvertently kneed in the head at the side's final training session, elevating Moss to the starting side. He played all but one of the team's 21 A-League games in their inaugural season and shared the duties with Paston the following year.
Moss then spent a season at Melbourne Victory before two years at the now-defunct Gold Coast United. When they folded at the end of the 2011-12 season, he returned to Wellington.
"I had a family and was in a different space in my life. The club was obviously in a different space too. There was some real optimism about where the club was going and some real security there as well."
When Paston retired at the end of the 2012-13 season, Moss became the club's undisputed number one and has missed only four of the Phoenix's last 100 A-League games.
The A-League has a number of excellent goalkeepers, including former Phoenix stoppers Danny Vukovic (Sydney FC) and Liam Reddy (Perth Glory) and Adelaide veteran Eugene Galekovic, but Moss certainly belongs in the same conversation. His athleticism, shot-stopping and penalty area management are up there with the best.
Moss is well-settled in Wellington and lives with wife Melissa and their children Ashton and Savanna just a decent goal-kick from club skipper Andrew Durante's family in the capital's eastern suburbs. And with his 200th game about to be chalked up, there's no end in immediate sight.
"I don't want to put an expiry date on myself. I've learnt to look after my body in the past couple of seasons after I had some serious injuries. I'd like to think I can go on for a few more years. I don't want to put any time-frame on it as long as I'm feeling good."