Words: ACFC Media
Thursday 21 September 2017
Auckland City FC welcome former All Whites striker Kris Bright to the club for the upcoming ISPS Handa Premiership season.
The former Lincoln City and Shrewsbury Town forward joins the Navy Blues as a free agent following his departure from Northern Ireland outfit Linfield.
The 31-year-old brings experience to the Navy Blues following stints in Europe across the past decade and is sure to add firepower to an already strong squad.
Bright was the Navy Blues’s first new signing of the off-season and gives Head Coach Ramon Tribulietx another dimension in attack.
The Navy Blues new recruit won five All Whites caps a tally that included a solitary international goal in a 3-1 defeat to Thailand. Bright also played for the New Zealand Knights in the Hyundai A-League.
Tribulietx is delighted to secure a signing the calibre of Bright whom he describes as a player he has long admired.
"Kris is going to give us a bit of flair up front different from what we have had in the past.
"He conducts himself very well at training and displays a great attitude. He is a very good player with a very professional mindset and he clearly has an eye for the goal. We have already seen some of that hunger and sharpness in training.
"Kris comes from a different style of football and it will take a bit of time for him to readjust to our systems but with the way he is going it won't be long before we see some of his positive attributes very soon," Tribulietx said.
After 11 years as a professional Bright is eager to experience as much success as possible now he's the other side of 30.
"It's great to be home and to see so many familiar faces and places and I'm excited to play in the ISPS Handa Premiership, OFC Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup.
"These are all things I haven't done before and I'm still hungry to win things. I had other options on the table but I didn't want to move outside of Auckland. I wanted to be closer to family.
"Auckland City FC is a very professional environment and we train as much as if not more than some of the professional clubs I played for. I still want to give my football a good go and be as professional as possible and being with Auckland City FC gives me the best chance to do that," he said.
Bright's career reads like a global travel brochure with stints in England, Hungary, South Africa, India, Finland, Norway, Malta and Greece.
While he didn't quite manage to find somewhere to permanently call home while on the road, Bright regrets nothing, preferring to savour a career laden with the highs and lows of a professional.
"It's been an amazing time and when its been good, its been good but when it was bad it was horrorific. I've had so many ups and downs but at the end of the day I can say I've been a professional footballer for 12 years.
"Thats what I wanted to achieve and thats why I kept going. I was away for so long and it was difficult but the highs outweighed all of the negatives.
"When I left New Zealand the ISPS Handa Premiership was known as the NZFC and I came back every so often to watch my brother Rory play but the standard has moved forwards.
"The quality of training we're doing here at Auckland City FC is great, its quick, there's good technique, there's pace from players - everything is very good.
"I can't wait to start playing competitive games but what I've seen so far is very very good," he said.
Auckland City FC's next match is a pre-season friendly with Hamilton Wanderers scheduled for Saturday 23 September at Waiheke Island's Onetangi Domain.
The match kicks off at 2.45pm.
Fuller's Festival of Football
Saturday 23 September 2017
Auckland City FC v Hamilton Wanderers
Onetangi Domain, Waiheke Island
kick-off: 2.45pm NZST