As the Wellington Phoenix prepare to lose one rising star of New Zealand Football, the club has secured the services of another.
On Wednesday, the Kiwi A-League club confirmed the signing of 20-year-old prospect Callum McCowatt.
The Aucklander was a standout at the recent FIFA U20 World Cup in Poland, coming off a Golden Boot-winning campaign for Eastern Suburbs in the NZ Premiership.
His domestic record speaks for itself, with 21 goals in 16 games, including a hat-trick in the national final.
"It's always been a dream of mine to become a professional, ever since I was a little kid," McCowatt told Newshub.
"I've watched the Phoenix for a long time and I've wanted to play in the A-League, because I think it's a good level and I want to prove myself there."
The signing comes just a day after losing prodigy Sarpreet Singh in a shock transfer to European giants Bayern Munich, where's he's expected to sign a three-year deal.
McCowatt said his U20 teammate's move had given him a jolt of motivation and he's ready to take his game to the next level with the Phoenix.
"It's obviously a big move for a New Zealander to break through and make a deal there, that's great for the game here.
"I want to be the best footballer I can be and hopefully that ends up with a big European club."
Coach Ufuk Talay pointed at McCowatt as a shining example of the kind of local talent that is being nurtured in New Zealand.
"Callum is one of those elite players that has developed through the footballing system in this country, including Olé Football Academy, and has shown that on the international stage," said Talay.
"The next natural step was for him to turn professional and he’ll be a welcome addition to our group of players."
McCowatt will join the squad for the start of pre-season next month.