In August Goddard signed a two-year contract with the Mariners.

But it was conversations and the advice of fellow Englishman Le Fondre in India, where the pair were teammates at Mumbai City FC, that helped seal the deal down under.

Goddard and the Sky Blues striker thrived in Mumbia last season, helping the club win the Indian Super League title.

"Last year when I was in India playing with Adam Le Fondre and we were watching the games together and he said you playing in the A-League would be good and it would be a great opportunity for you," he explained to FTBL.

"So that first turned my head to the A-League and I started to do a little bit research about it myself, and it turned out I thought it was a good move for me and my career.

"Another new, good experience."

After being teammates, now Goddard and Le Fondre will be rivals in Australia when the Mariners and Sydney FC lock horns.

"We've already been talking about it, a bit of banter," he said.

"I'm looking forward to it."

The A-League is the latest stop in a career that has taken in spells in Italy, Cyprus and India.

Born in London, Goddard spent 12 years on the books at Premier League club Tottenham. The 24-year-old left Spurs in 2018 to join Serie B side Benevento, before stints in the Cypriot First Division with Pafos and then in 2020 to the sub-continent.

"I never would have predicted the route I've been on when I was younger," he admitted.

"It's just been what feels right for you at that time of your career, and obviously playing in India last year and now I'm playing in the A-League, it's another good experience for me.

"I haven't really held back in thinking I'm going here or there, I've just tried to really enjoy the experience and experiencing new cultures and people."

At Tottenham the former Japanese youth international started a friendship with Melbourne City goalkeeper Tom Glover, a former Mariner who provided a glowing reference of the NSW club.

"Tom Glover, who I played with and was close to at the club, I messaged him before coming out here as well," Goddard said.

"Tom, because he played for the Mariners as well, he said it's a very close-knit club and that's what I was looking for in the move."

Goddard arrived on the Central Coast at the start of September and believes he can add an attacking threat to the Mariners' midfield.

"I landed in Australia about a month ago, of course I had to do a two week quarrantine and I've been training for over three weeks now," he said.

"I've been enjoying it, it's been hard work. The boys started off a little bit ahead of me, as I landed a bit later, plus the two week quarrantine takes you back a bit.

"But I'm enjoying it, the squad's already got a close bond and everyone was friendly when I arrived so it's been easy to settle in. I think I can add a little bit of creativity and spark, and really have a positive influence on the games.

"I'm still a young player but I've had a lot of experience in playing in different countries with a lot of different playing styles and managers. So I can help with my experience."

The Mariners stunned many by leading the competition for parts of last season before eventually finishing third.

Goddard believes the yellow and navy, now led by rookie coach Nick Montgomery, can really challenge for the title this campaign.

"We've got a really good bond and probably last season the reason they did so well was because they had such a strong work ethic and strong bond between the players and trying to be a resilient team, tough to break down," he said.

"Hopefully we can carry it on this season and improve. I feel very happy with the way the team's been progressing and really looking forward to the start of the season."