Former All Whites coach Danny Hay has signed Christchurch-born defender Ben Stroud for West Australia’s Perth SC.
Stroud (25), who played National League for the Canterbury Dragons before heading overseas, has most recently been playing in Finland’s third-tier competition as the captain of FC Jazz.
Main photo: Ben Stroud … led Finland’s FC Jazz to promotion last season. Photo credit: FC Jazz social media.
A tall centre back, Stroud joins Perth who play in Australia’s second-tier competition, the National Premier League Western Australia.
Perth have been state champions 26 times, and Hay has been leading a resurgence at the club since taking over as head coach in 2023.
Stroud’s father (Alan) and grandfather (Arthur) both played for New Zealand, as goalkeepers.
After playing schoolboy football for St Bede’s, and youth football with Coastal Spirit and Canterbury United, Stroud had spells with Wellington United, Cashmere Technical, Central United, Wainuiomata and Western Suburbs.
He earned a football scholarship to NCAA Division 1 school, Missouri State, and was a key member and leader there as a starting player all four years.
In 2022, he signed for Finland’s FC Jazz and was made first team captain in his first season in which the club came fifth.
In 2023, he led the club to second place in the league and they won promotion to Finland’s second-tier, Ykkönen.
Despite being offered a third season, Stroud opted to head closer to home to join Perth SC, becoming one of two visa players allowed to be signed by NPL clubs
His move was helped by the Lee Fratelli agency, based in Auckland/Sydney.
Watch interview with Ben Stroud
Before he left FC Jazz, Stroud gave this interview about his experience in Finland: