Mitch Duke came, he saw, he conquered. After a brief and brilliant A-League campaign, now the marksman is off to a new challenge in Saudi Arabia with Al Taawoun.
14 goals and a brief spell at the captain's helm of the Wanderers was all it took to secure the former Socceroos striker a big-money move to perennial Saudi Pro League challengers Al Taawoun.
“It was the perfect time for me to come back to Australia and I just wanted to show people what I can do and what I’ve learnt and how I’ve grown as a player and prove that I can still deliver on the big stage back home,” Duke told Socceroos.com.au.
“I had that belief that I was coming back here to do everything that I’ve done, so I’m pretty happy with how it’s turned out.”
Duke says that while his spell down under was short, it was his time in Japan with Shimizu S-Pulse, where he was a regular starter in the J1 League or second Japanese division, that has led to his current form.
It's a reminder that regular game time and striking prowess, no matter what the level, can be a far greater signal of growth.
“I think especially the four years in Japan grew me to be the leader that I am now," Duke continued.
“I’m also at an age now where I can influence other people. I’m going back to Australia with that mindset to lead and help and hopefully people just watching me are learning as well.”