THE chance to play the game he loves and further his coaching experience paved the way for Wide Bay Buccaneers' first coup.
Ben Brookfield was confirmed yesterday as the Queensland Premier League club's first official signing.
The Englishman played for Launceston City this season, but will link with the newly-formed club as both a player and a coach.
"I knew my time at Launceston was coming to an end,” Brookfield said.
"Towards the end I was more of a player-coach. But we went five games unbeaten and I found that I still had that desire to play. The news (of Wide Bay's inclusion) came out and I was lucky to see it.”
A trip to the Wide Bay and a conversation with coach Tim Lunnon confirmed Hervey Bay would become his new home.
"I know there will be a bit of travel but Tim was happy with us living in either Bundy or Hervey Bay,” Brookfield said. "It is a bit of travel but it's nothing I haven't done before.”
Brookfield will slot into either the defensive midfield or centre back.
The 26-year-old, who grew up in Leeds, will further his coaching experience by taking the reigns of one of Wide Bay's youth teams.
Brookfield, a former AC Milan Academy coach in Sydney, will lead either the under-18s or U20s teams.
"It depends on what works best with the playing schedule, but I'm excited for the challenge,” he said.
Lunnon said Brookfield was a perfect fit, in more ways than one.
"He brings NPL experience and he's been in the system a long time,” Lunnon said.
"He's had plenty of experience in coaching as well so he's the perfect fit.
"Having seen the Wide Bay League players there were a couple of areas we needed to focus on.
"Defence was one and he brings an NPL standard.”
Brookfield said he expected a high standard of competition.
"I've heard and read a lot about mainland NPL and QPL,” Brookfield said.
"I was watching the Brisbane Strikers play (against South Hobart), and while they're a level above us I'm still expecting a high standard of competition.”
The Buccaneers appointed Connor Gordon and Ash Bratton as U13 and U16 boys coaches last week.