Central League marksman Deri Corfe has signed with second-tier Australian club Dandenong Thunder after leaving men’s National League club Napier City Rovers.
Corfe (25) finished second on the Central League goalscorers’ table in 2023, scoring 15 goals for Napier.
Main photo: Deri Corfe … grateful to Napier City Rovers head coach Bill Robertson.
He’s the latest in a line of goalscorers from the Central League to head to Australia to join second-tier clubs, joining Wellington Olympic’s Gianni Bouzoukis (to Sydney’s NWS Spiriti), Wellington Phoenix Reserves’ teenager Josh Tollervey (to Preston Lions) and Waterside Karori’s Jorge Akers (to Eastern Lions).
Announcing his arrival at the Victoria National Premier League club, Thunder told their followers via social media: “Deri’s journey from Manchester City to successful stints in America, Scotland and, most recently, New Zealand speaks volumes about his talent and dedication to the game. We’re thrilled to have such an accomplished player on board.”
Corfe joined Napier City Rovers for the 2023 Central League season from Scottish club Arbroath, after a spell in the United States where he had played for the New York Red Bulls.
As a youngster, Corfe spent six years with the Manchester City academy, playing alongside the likes of current England star Phil Foden and Spanish midfielder Brahim Diaz.
Corfe credits Napier head coach Bill Robertson with helping reboot his career.
In an interview with the Manchester Evening News last year, Corfe said: “I wanted to get back enjoying my football which was the most important thing. He (Robertson) said he would let me play with a bit of freedom again, and that’s what he’s done; he has stuck by his word.”
Meanwhile, Napier City Rovers goalkeeper Oscar Mason (19) has moved north to join Auckland’s Western Springs.
Forward Christian Leopard will also be missing from the Rovers line-up following a bad knee injury during last season’s National League. He will miss the 2024 season.
Rovers have also lost last season’s Most Valuable Player, Ta Eh Doe, who has reportedly joined Southern League champions Christchurch United.