In his club and international career, Shane Smeltz travelled the world learning his trade and developing the skills that led to him becoming one of Australian football’s deadliest strikers.
But Shane’s roots and heart lie on the Gold Coast. It’s the place where he grew up, and now, after a glittering career, the place where he runs Shane Smeltz Football and brings up his young family.
On the international stage, Shane reached the heights that all youngsters dream of – playing and scoring in a FIFA World Cup. That goal against Italy at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa was undoubtably a career highlight, but he also played in three FIFA Confederations Cups (France, South Africa and Russia), along with the 2012 Olympic Football Tournament in London.
For the New Zealand national team his striking record is prolific. 24 goals in 58 games means he’ll go into the history books as one of the greats of the Kiwi national side.
In Australia’s A-League he tormented defences for almost a decade, banging in 92 goals for Wellington Phoenix, Gold Coast United, Perth Glory and Sydney FC. His goalscoring feats earned him two A-League Golden Boots (highest goalscorer) and one Johnny Warren Medal (player of the season), along with a string of club awards.
What Shane knows and understands as well as any player, is that success starts with a commitment to be the best you can be.
As a young player everything he did was shaping both the player and the person he would become. Dedicated, focused, hard-working and eager to learn. Those attributes, experiences, memories and knowledge are now what Shane brings to life in each of his coaching sessions and imparts to his young football students.
His focus is on developing players who make a difference on the pitch. In other words, game changers. Players who are technically sound, tactically aware, physically strong and mentally resilient.
“As a young player learning the game on the Gold Coast, my dreams drove me on every day. I was desperate to become a professional player, so to achieve that and have a really rewarding international career as well, was very satisfying,” he said.
“When I was at the age of the kids I now coach, I did it all – played at local clubs, school football, rep teams, the QAS and lots of practising on my own. Wherever I could touch a ball I would – it was my life, and still is.
“Now that I’m older and can reflect on those early years, I understand more than ever where it all began for me and what I needed to do to grow and learn as a player. Those years were so important and it was my passion for the game that drove me on.
“I got to play in some magnificent stadiums all over the world, and on the field it’s been a privilege to play with, and against, some fantastic footballers.
“I’ve enjoyed some unforgettable experiences and great times in football, the highlight of course being scoring that goal against Italy in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Nothing can top that feeling and I want as many young players as possible to have the dreams I had and go after them.
“As a player you have to grow and learn if you are to succeed. It’s this knowledge and experience I want to teach and instil in every player who comes through Shane Smeltz Football. I know all players are different and have different coaching needs, that’s why my coaching is tailored to the individual.
“I want every player I coach to create their own football story and pathway. My role is to provide the tools, the skills and the knowledge that gives them every possible chance of living their dream, just like I did.”