WHEN he left Perth as a teenager chasing his soccer dream, Adam Taggart had no intention of returning before the twilight of a long professional career.
But a testing run of injuries during his stint at English Championship club Fulham led the talented striker to conclude there could be no better place than home to get his body – and his head – back into the business of playing good, enjoyable soccer.
The ECU Joondalup product will be back in Perth Glory colours this season where he could be a part of one of the A-League’s most damaging up-front partnerships alongside Irish marksman Andy Keogh and reigning Johnny Warren Medallist Diego Castro, who the Glory re-signed last week.
How coach Kenny Lowe will squeeze such riches of firepower into his starting line-up remains a tantalising quandary as the players start pre-season.
Still only 23, Taggart is considered one of the country’s top young strikers and has already notched seven games and three goals for the Socceroos, as well as winning the A-League Golden Boot award with Newcastle United in 2013-14.
His transfer from Fulham back to Glory, which came after a short loan stint at Scottish Premiership side Dundee United, was sealed in January but he was not able to play out the season as FIFA regulations limit the number of clubs players can play for in a season to two.
“To be honest when I was overseas, the plan was not to come back until you’re 30 and prolong your career away as much as possible,” Taggart said. “Coming home in the end there was definitely no regrets.
“You’ve got to look at everything; what’s going to be the best thing for my body, not necessarily starting again but to be able to take that approach where it’s just a fresh start.
“The older you get the more you realise how important it is to be playing under people you really respect and enjoy playing football for, and Kenny Lowe and (Glory assistant coach) Andy Ord I knew from my younger days so it’s been really enjoyable being back.”
Taggart, who last played for Australia at the 2014 World Cup, still harbours ambitions to play at the highest level, especially with the announcement that Perth will host a World Cup qualifier against Iraq on September 1.
In the meantime, he is also looking forward to reuniting with all of the West Australian-bred players in the squad and teaming with the likes of Castro, who scored 13 goals last year en route to being named the Glory’s and the league’s best player.
“Especially for me being a striker, it’s fantastic to have someone like that re-sign at the club to add to the team,” Taggart said.