In the seventies and early Eighties it was North America and for a few years in the Nineties it was Japan, then came the MSL revolution and the destination for aging or forgotten footballers went full circle and America was once more the desired destination. Nowadays, with the ever increasing expansion of the global game, footballers (and managers) have a myriad of options when deciding on their retirement plan including China and our very own A-league.
In this occasional series I will be highlighting football personalities who you may have forgotten who are now plying their trade Down Under. This time it is ex-Stoke centre forward, Chris Greenacre, who will perhaps forever be associated in Stoke’s fans eyes with the manager who brought him to the Brit, Steve Quiterel:
Arriving in the Potteries, Greenacre was heralded by Stoke’s new boss as the answer to the team’s lak of goals but, as so often happens when a striker pulls on the famous red and white, Greenacre failed to deliver. Often the reason for his failure is attributed to injury but in his three full seasons at the club he managed to play seventy-five leagues games, scoring a less than impressive seven goals. Pushed out by fans favourite Ade Akinbiyi, Greenacre left for Tranmere Rovers before finding himself on the other side of the world with Wellington Phoenix.
Although troubled by injury Greenacre did well(ish) in New Zealand and has since become assistant manager at the club, initially to Riki Herbert and recently to Ernie Merrik. Now that Merrik has stood down after a typically Stoke like start to the season Greenacre could become coach to New Zealand’s only A-League football team.