Tasmanian soccer star Nathaniel Atkinson is happy to be back at Melbourne City following a bizarre few weeks at the transfer table.
One of City's longest-serving first-team players, the 21-year-old was unveiled as a Perth Glory recruit on September 1 before signing a new two-year deal with City three weeks later.
COVID complications and a stalemate over the A-League's new collective bargaining agreement were factors in the bungled move.
RELATED: Glory transfer curtailed
"Obviously I didn't know where I was going to end up during the off-season but it's good to be back and good to get back into the routine," Atkinson told City's website.
"It's good to be around the boys and back around the club."
Arguably the state's most successful A-League export, Atkinson became the first Tasmanian to compete in a grand final in August as City fell 1-0 to Sydney in extra time.
The former Riverside Olympic starlet has returned to a new coach this season - Patrick Kisnorbo has replaced Erick Mombaerts - but is excited to be part of a settled squad as City chases its maiden A-League title.
"Throughout the club's history, one of the issues was the large amount of turnover of players and when you are bringing in a lot of new players, you have to start all over again really.
"You have to get your system right and get your formation right, but now we've kept the majority of the team and also bought in a few players that can boost that and help improve the team even more."
With 57 games under his belt, Atkinson believes he is ready to take his game to "the next level" in 2020-21.
"I want to contribute goals and assists to the team and help us win at all costs," he said.
"I also want to make sure I continue to be a good team player around the boys."
The new A-League season begins on December 27 and will be contested by a record 12 clubs thanks to the arrival of Macarthur FC.
MORE SPORT: Marcos Ambrose's NASCAR winner up for sale