All Whites striker Ben Waine has revealed how advice from two New Zealand-based former Plymouth Argyle players led to his long-distance move to join the English club.
In his first interview with Argyle’s television channel, Waine (21) says he was encouraged to make the switch by Wellington Phoenix teammate Scott Wootton and by All Whites assistant coach Rory Fallon.
Defender Wootton played 68 games for Argyle between 2018 and 2021 while Fallon played for the club 160 times between 2007 and 2011.
Main photo: Ben Waine … unveiled as a Pilgrim. Photo: Plymouth Argyle FC.
“Scotty had a lot to do with it. He told me a lot of good things, and to be here is amazing.
“I was talking to him constantly, and he didn’t have a single bad word to say about this club, and as a place to live. He said that it is awesome, and that I would enjoy it. I’m already starting to see that.
“I know (Rory) very well. He was part of the national team setup and I got to know him there. He has also moved over to Wellington and is part of the academy, so I did a little bit of work with him there in the past few months.
“Ever since Argyle became a possibility, I was on the phone constantly with him.
“Like Scotty, he couldn’t speak highly enough of the place and the people here. It was a no-brainer.”
Waine, who holds a British passport, has signed a contract with League One leaders Plymouth Argyle who paid an undisclosed fee to the Wellington Phoenix.
The forward will be on contract till the end of the 2024-25 season, with a club option for an extra 12 months.
Waine watched the Pilgrims beat Wycombe Wanderers from the club’s directors’ box on Thursday December 29, after passing his medical.
Manager Steven Schumacher told Argyle’s official website:
“We are delighted that Ben Waine has joined us at Plymouth Argyle. He is a player I have been tracking for over a year now, and we made an attempt in the summer to try and bring him to Home Park.
“Ben is a young player who has a tremendous attitude and a willingness to learn and improve. Hopefully, he can help score the goals that will maintain our push for promotion, and I’m sure all of the Green Army will be excited to see him play.”
Director of football Neil Dewsnip said: “I’m really excited about the signing of Ben. He is somebody we tried to bring to Argyle in the summer, but it proved to be challenging, Thankfully, we have managed to get him at last.”
Waine told Argyle TV:
“I’m buzzing to join Argyle.
“It’s a dream come true moving over here, I’m just excited to get started.
“My whole family is from the UK. Other than me and my sister, everyone is British. I’ve always had that interest, and football has been a big part of my life. As soon as I thought it was possible to move over here and start playing, it was something I became obsessed with.
“For Argyle to give me a chance, an opportunity to be part of this team, is amazing. Hopefully, I can return the favour.”
READ MORE: All Whites and Phoenix forward Ben Waine signs for English club >>>>