Wellington Phoenix have announced the signing of forward Charles Lokoli-Ngoy for the remainder of their 2020/21 A-League campaign.
The Congolese-Australian starred for Sydney FC in their 2017/18 run to the title, after scoring 34 goals in 42 appearances for their feeder side in Australia's National Premier League.
He then joined Brisbane Roar for a brief stint, before a move to TSW Pegasus in the Hong Kong Premier League. The former Australia U23 representative joins the Phoenix from the NSW league.
Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay is familiar with Lokoli-Ngoy from his time as an assistant at Sydney FC and has had an eye on him ever since.
"He's different," says Talay. "He's big and he's strong, and at the moment, I think we're lacking a bit of depth with the injuries that we've had in our front third, so he's an important signing for us to come in at this stage of the season."
Talay is confident the 23-year-old will make an immediate impact for his struggling side, which are currently mired one spot off the bottom of the standings, with just one win from their five games to date.
"Charles will give us some energy forward," Talay says. "He's strong and he's quick, and he likes to run in behind… and that's what we're lacking at the moment, so hopefully he can bring that with him and give us a bit more balance up front."
Lokoli-Ngoy says he's eager to reunite with his former coach and is fired up for the new challenge ahead.
"I'm very excited and looking forward to playing for the Phoenix this season, and excited to be back in the A-League," says Lokolo-Ngoy.
"I enjoyed my time with [Talay] when I was at Sydney FC. He's a great coach and I'm looking forward to him helping take me to the next level in my career.
"I've known [Phoenix players] Liam [McGing] and Cammy [Devlin] for a while from my Sydney FC and youth playing days, so I'm looking forward to seeing them again and the rest of the team as well."
On Thursday, Lokoli-Ngoy will join the Phoenix for training and is expected to be available for the club's match against Western Sydney Wanderers on Sunday.