Matthew Ridenton will come back under the A-League tutelage of Ernie Merrick after leaving Wellington Phoenix for the Newcastle Jets.
In a blow for the Kiwi-based club, midfielder Ridenton signed a two-year deal with Merrick's Jets, who finished runners-up this season.
The 22-year-old All White enjoyed a breakthrough 2017-2018 season, playing all but one game for the Phoenix and consistently being among the better performers at the struggling club.
Box-to-box midfielder Ridenton has scored four goals in 72 appearances.
He was spotted at domestic level by Merrick soon after the veteran coach arrived in Wellington in 2013 and was immediately offered a Phoenix contract.
"Matthew is an excellent player, and having worked with him during my time at the Phoenix I know the sort of potential he possesses as a player," Merrick said.