Former Hamilton Wanderers captain and Waikato FC's third most capped player Mark Jones has signed with Melville United for the 2018 season.
Jones left Wanderers in 2016 and featured for Glenfield Rovers in the 2017 LottoNRFL season but has returned back to his home town of Hamilton to help Melville with their promotion push.
"I wanted to come back and play locally," Jones said.
"No one could question my loyalty for six years and always played with my heart on my sleeve for Wanderers, but ultimately I wasn't enjoying my football towards the end of my time there."
Wanderers, under coach Mark Cossey, achieved a second and third place finish in the LottoNRFL Premier League in 2014 and 2015.
And now with Melville United he wants to help get them back into the Premier League and take out the title.
He was originally impressed by the work that current head coaches Sam Wilkinson and Michael Mayne have put into the club.
"I want to start a new chapter with Melville and be there for years to come. I have been impressed with their ambition, facilities, professionalism, and I know Sam and Mayne well."
"Its no secret how much time and commitment they have put into the club the last two years and they have turned the club around."
Jones will be among familiar faces as he joins former Wanderers team mates Max Tommy, Jama Boss and Federico Marquez, and Aaron Scott who featured for Wanderers in the summer league.
"I'm looking forward to joining up with some old teammates such as Aaron, Jama, Max and Feddy and meeting my other new teammates at training. I know Federico very well, playing in the same Wanderers and Waibop team for three years. He is a very talented player who I am sure will be highly motivated to make a difference, enjoy his football again and win some trophies."
Sam Wilkinson was excited at Jones' signing. He worked briefly as assistant coach of the 2016 Hamilton Wanderers side.
"Mark has been on our hit list for a while now and we are delighted to have him on board. His playing quality speaks for itself and on top of that he brings great leadership and experience to the group," Wilkinson said.
Jones only has one goal.
"Win the league, enjoy my football and make a difference."