Besart Berisha has declared himself the "happiest man in the world" after netting his 117th A-League goal which proved to be a historic first for Western United.
Berisha was left unmarked in the box to volley home Josh Risdon's centre on Sunday as Western United began life in the A-League with a 1-0 victory over Wellington Phoenix.
The 34-year-old was the last senior player to sign with the expansion club, joining them in late September.
His goal not only kick-started his new club's season, but ended a miserable attempt to make it in Japanese football.
Berisha left Melbourne Victory in 2018 after winning two A-League titles for the powerhouse, but struggled at the J-League team, making just a handful of starts and failing to score.
"It's been a tough year for me. I'm so relieved," he said. "I missed Australia. I missed the A-League.
"Now I can say I am the happiest man in the world, coming back to Australia and help the new team try to create history and try to win games and this is what we did."
Berisha, displaying the same intensity that's led him to a monster haul of goals in his A-League career, said he was baffled at why he didn't get the chance to play more in Japan.
"Good players often don't get the credit to play," he said. "I never gave up in the time I never played in Japan but it's been really tough to understand why I (was) not playing.
"Still today I don't understand. I had a half-year contract still but I finished the contract earlier because for me it was important to save my career
"I went Germany to keep myself fit and I'm happy to make the decision to come to Western. It's a new club, the excitement is big and everybody wants to achieve something."
Central to his decision to move was coach Mark Rudan.
Berisha said the ambitious second-season boss had a similar mindset to his ex-Victory mentor Kevin Muscat and old Brisbane coach Ange Postecoglou.
"In Australia, I always picked coaches who really want to achieve something," he said. "This is what I did with Ange and definitely with Kevin. I need these coaches who are really, really close to me, special to me.
"I really understand Mark. He is a fighter. And he loves to win games and this is what I love."
Now Berisha, by his own admission, just needs to lift his fitness.
With the benefit of just a fortnight of training in Melbourne before the round one match, the Kosovo international didn't expect to be given the 80-minute run in Wellington.
"My legs? Oh my god. After first half I could say, I am finished," he laughed. "But something tells me keep fighting, keep fighting."