A hat-trick in the Oceania Club Championship final and top scorer in the domestic league, all of New Zealand is talking about the predatory powers of Auckland City FC striker Keryn Jordan.
Fresh from spearheading his new club to a place among the world elite at the FIFA Club World Cup to be held in Japan in December, the 30-year-old South African chatted to FIFA.com.
FIFA.com: How does it feel to be a few months away from playing in the FIFA Club World Cup and against some of the world's biggest stars?
Keryn Jordan: To be honest, it makes all the hard work I've put in over the years, with all its ups and downs, worth it. I was always hanging around for somebody to afford me the opportunity to pit my skills against players I admired, and here it is.
You scored more goals in the final than the rest of the Oceania Club Championship. How did you approach the game against Pirae? Did you sense it would be your day?
No not really, I didn't know what to expect from Pirae or from the occasion itself. I was mindful of what Auckland City as a club and community were trying to achieve and knew that if I applied myself in a professional manner, along with the rest of the team, then nobody could take it from us. I suppose the old cliché of 'making one's own luck' applied.
What has the publicity been like since the hat-trick? How have things changed personally and for Auckland City?
It has been immense for both myself and the club. Football was not really recognised in rugby-mad New Zealand before this, neither were footballers, so the whole team and Auckland City as a club have made massive inroads for the game in this country.
What have the boys in the team been talking about since qualifying for the FIFA Club World Cup?
I haven't really seen many of them as they have all begun playing for their clubs during the winter competition here. Football being an amateur sport in New Zealand , the players can transfer and play for two clubs in one year. But the feeling for me is getting more and more exciting as the days go by.
How would you describe your personal and the team's strengths?
Our major strength is our team spirit. That was said on more than one occasion by the great Allan Jones, our coach who led us to Japan but has now stepped aside and is in charge of the New Zealand women's side. We have developed an unbelievable camaraderie and culture all the way from our board right through to the supporters. This, coupled with the individual talents we have within the team, is our biggest strength. Also the new gaffer (Roger Wilkinson) has made some shrewd signings in the off-season so we will be more balanced in all areas of the park.
Which other players at Auckland City could make an impression in Japan?
There are many players with many different talents in our team, it will be very difficult to single out any players in particular.
Tell us something of your background. You won two caps for Bafana Bafana (South Africa) before moving to New Zealand…
That's correct. My international career was sadly cut short due to injury. I had dreamed of getting onto the world stage my whole life. I played with some great players back home, most notably Mark Fish, Lucas Radebe and Benni McCarthy. I also learnt from some even greater managers. I gained a lot from Gordon Igesund in particular, he did everything very professionally and lived and breathed football, and I scored goals wherever I played. It really just feels completely natural, it makes me feel alive! My boyhood heroes were Gary Lineker and Gabriel Batistuta.
Sydney FC lost one and won one last year in Japan, coming fifth. How well could Auckland City do this year?
I certainly do feel that we are capable of flying the flag high for New Zealand football. Being the only amateur club to participate, it will be very difficult, so we will take it one game at a time. One thing I do know is that we will definitely be there to compete with everything we have.
What do you do aside from playing football?
I have wedged myself firmly into the building industry here in New Zealand but deep down I want to become a football manager. I have an eye for talent, and with the required badges I believe I still have a major part to play in this great game I love so much.
Have you ever been to Japan? What do you know about the country and its people?
No I haven't been there. I lived in Thailand for a year in 1995, that was amazing. I have always been fascinated by the Asian cultures so I'm guessing this will be quite an experience for all of us. I know they are great lovers of football over there so let's hope they get right behind us as we embark on our pioneering expedition.