Melbourne City's new striker Ross McCormack couldn't believe his ears when his agent in Britain asked him if he fancied a short term move to Australia to fill in as an injury replacement for the club's marquee forward Bruno Fornaroli.
"I didn't know what he was really on about, I was like, what, on holiday?", McCormack said as he explained his reasons for moving on loan to Australia, a seachange he hopes will bring down the curtain on a "disastrous" last 12 months.
After a couple of days with his new teammates ahead of Friday night's A-League season opener against Brisbane Roar, the Aston Villa forward knows whatever else he is here for, it's not a vacation.
"I got here Saturday night midnight and trained 9am Sunday morning because I wanted to. You have to learn what your teammates' strengths are.
"I have always wanted to come to Australia or the MLS (in America) to play. I think its a blessing in disguise that it came this early, not like when you are coming to the end and you can't make an impact.
"I am still young and fit enough to get around and make a proper impact over here," the 31-year-old former Scottish international said.
The Scotsman has been the subject of several big money moves at Championship level in England, having recently played at Fulham and Leeds
But things did not work out for him at Villa - hence his desire to do something radical to reboot his career.
"I tried to get out on loan before the deadline (September1). A move to Sunderland fell through so it was in the back of my mind that I was going to be there until January at least.
"But I am not the kind who just wants to sit around and basically collect money and do nothing."
He readily admits that his career is at a crossroads after the last 12 months.
"It's been a disaster, there's no two ways about it. I scored four goals last year and played something like 25 games.
"The last five years before that I was averaging over 50 games a season and probably over 20 goals a season. Most players have a dip in their career, and hopefully that was mine."
There are some familiar faces at City, as former club captain and now W-League coach Paddy Kisnorbo and current midfielder Neil Kilkenny played with him at Leeds, while Victory defender Rhys Williams was often an opponent at Middlesbrough.
"That helps and the manager was at Wigan last season. Rhys Williams messaged me on Instagram to tell me to give him a call if there's anything I need. I played with his younger brother Ryan at Fulham."
McCormack was the subject of derision last year when he failed to turn up to training at Villa allegedly because his electric gates failed and he could not get his car out of the drive.
He said there was more to that than meets the eye, but knows that his reputation took a big hit and people questioned his attitude.
"I am not a silly little boy now, there's a lot to prove and I know what people will be thinking. But I was club captain at Leeds and at Fulham, if you have got a bad attitude you are not getting those honours."