• Goal ... New Zealand striker Jeremy Brockie is keen to break his international scoring drought (Getty Images)
Striker Jeremy Brockie hopes that his brief experience of working under New Zealand legend Ryan Nelsen will help him break his international scoring drought.
By
SBS: Philip Micallef

30 Jul 2013 - 10:35 AM  UPDATED 30 Jul 2013 - 1:07 PM

Brockie has played 34 times for his country, including a substitute's appearance against Paraguay at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

But he has yet to sample the sweet taste of a goal to his name.

Brockie, who is on the books of A-League club Wellington Phoenix, is on loan to Major League Soccer club Toronto FC, which is coached by Nelsen.

"Having Ryan as our coach has certainly helped me a lot," Brockie, 25, said.

"He was a great defender and had an exceptional career.

"He is a very good coach and he has taught me several things to keep an eye out.

"Body language and little things like that that help strikers get the better of defenders.

"Hopefully I can use his tips to my advantage, particularly in the World Cup playoff coming up in November."

The fact that Brockie has yet to score his maiden goal for the All Whites still rankles with the striker who has earned a reputation as a scorer of great goals rather than a great scorer of goals.

Some of the goals he scored for Newcastle Jets and Wellington the last three A-League seasons have ended up as YouTube hits.

Brockie however said that an easy tap-in would do very nicely as he seeks to get the monkey off his back.

"It is something that has got the better of me," he said.

"I have played in a few different positions with the national team but the coming home-and-away World Cup playoff (against the fourth placed CONCACAF team) might be the right time to get that elusive first goal.

"It's a long time without a goal so I'll take anything, even a simple tap-in."

If Brockie shows the same persistence in his quest for a New Zealand strike as he showed this time last year after he quit the Jets he should have no trouble achieving his goal.

After a strong season for the Jets, he parted company with the club after he did not agree to new terms it offered him and for a while his career seemed in limbo.

He opted to go back to his homeland and his judgment was rewarded with a top season that also earned him a loan stint with Toronto.

"I had two strong seasons in Newcastle so, yes, being released was a bit traumatic," he said.

"It was difficult to come to terms with but I had a few different things in the offing.

"I never lost faith in my ability and in Wellington I went from strength to strength before the opportunity to play in the MLS came about.

"I had no idea a year ago that 12 months later I would be playing in a league comprising guys like Thierry Henry, Robbie Keane and Tim Cahill.

"I am really enjoying my football here. I have scored only one goal but have had a few assists.

"My loan period ends on 26 August which is when I will rejoin Phoenix."

Brockie said he thought that there was not much difference in standard between MLS and the A-League even though the American competition had better financial resources.

"The MLS is very similar to the A-League in many ways," he explained.

"It is obviously a difficult league to play in because there are a lot of great players in it, particularly from South America.

"The clubs have money to spend and most set-ups are world class.

"Toronto is battling with big sports like ice hockey, baseball and basketball but we have an average home gate of 21,000 which is pretty good."

Toronto is second from bottom in the 10-team Eastern Conference that is led by Sporting Kansas City.