Grimsby Town Football Club are pleased to announce the signing of former Melbourne Victory goalkeeper Max Crocombe on an initial one-year deal, subject to international clearance.
The 27-year-old returns to England after spending the last two seasons in Australia with Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory respectively.
New Zealander, Crocombe began his professional career at Oxford United, signing his first professional contract with the club in 2012. During his time at the club, Crocombe enjoyed loan spells at the likes of Nuneaton Town, Barnet & Southport before making the move to Carlisle United in 2016.
After just four appearances for the club, Crocombe made the move to Salford City, where he helped The Ammies secure the National League North title and promotion to the EFL in the 2018/19 season for the first time in the Club's history.
Despite spending his last two seasons on the other side of the world, Crocombe felt the time was right to return back to where he calls home.
"At the end of the season last year in Australia, I made the decision that I wanted to come back home, so I flew back, Grimsby got in contact with me, I spoke to the gaffer and everything moved on from there. The training was wicked, I loved it. It was really high-intensity training and I just loved getting back out on the grass after the offseason and everything so I was happy to be back.
"Having a bit of experience with that [promotion] before it definitely helps. Everyone is geared towards promotion here, we have got some good players and from my first day, I can see we've got a real hunger here so I am delighted to be here and those experiences of promotion can help us."
Crocombe also spoke to GTTV this afternoon about his unexpected move down under and how he feels the Mariners will handle this season.
"To be honest the opportunity just became available! I was still under contract at Salford, I was told that I was probably not going to play and that the opportunity to go to Brisbane came about, so I thought it was going to be something different and exciting so I made the jump and I am really glad I did because it was a really good couple of years and I loved it.
"The main aim for everyone is to get promoted. We have got a good squad as I said and it seems that the gaffer and Doigy are really hungry, they made that really clear when I spoke to them so that's the main aim really and to do what I can to help the team get promoted.
The Mariners have spent this week in Cheshire at Mottram Hall for a training camp and we caught up with manager Paul Hurst after his final session to talk about his latest recruit and the competition he will bring to 'keepers corner.
"He will bring exactly that, competition. I made no secret that I wanted to bring another goalkeeper in to help push Macca and Ollie and I think I said on numerous occasions is to see if we can find him somewhere to go out on loan and gain experience. I have to say he has come back in during pre-season and done very well, he has impressed more than he perhaps did from January until the end of last season and that's a credit to him and whoever takes him will be getting a really good goalkeeper.
"With regards Max, I had a good chat with him earlier in the week when the first discussions took place. He seems really keen, he wants to push and be involved, but he understands the situation. It is important for me to be honest with him, we just had a keeper get a testimonial but that doesn't guarantee that he's going to play and Macca knows that, but what I do want is to be comfortable that whoever I put between the sticks can perform well and hopefully push each other on.
"When you've experienced success it can often make you hungry for more. After speaking to him, his experience over in Australia, certainly more recently it maybe wasn't quite as intense as what he would like to have been involved in, he's played against Grimsby before, he knows what the fans are like and the aims for the season, so he was keen to get involved on that front. Once we had our conversation on Monday, it moved quite quickly, it was a fairly easy deal to get done and it was important we chatted about the whole situation and I never promise anyone that they're going to play and I made that clear, but Max will back himself to try and get that number one spot."
Welcome to Blundell Park, Max!