World Cup Socceroo Bailey Wright far from done as he embarks on new voyage with Lion City Sailors

After previously spending his entire career in England, Australia international Bailey Wright has embarked on new adventure in signing with Singapore Premier League outfit Lion City Sailors. Lion City Sailors FC

Bailey Wright has had quite the journey in his career as footballer.

Even by those standards, he is now embarking on something quite foreign -- both figuratively and literally -- after joining Lion City Sailors on Sunday, signing a two-year contract with the Singapore Premier League outfit with an option for a further 12-month extension.

Although an Australian born and bred, Wright has curiously -- up to this point -- only ever played in England in his 13 years of professional football.

His prodigious talent saw him earn a scholarship with English second-tier outfit Preston North End back when he was only 17 and it was not long before he soon found himself in the first team.

From when he made his professional bow all the way back in 2010, further stints with Bristol City, Sunderland and -- most recently -- Rotherham have followed and they have with the expected highs and lows of sport.

Relegation to the third tier of English football followed by immediate promotion back to the Championship at both Preston and Sunderland.

An EFL Trophy winner's medal to his name in 2021.

Featuring at last year's FIFA World Cup with Australia, which would arguably be the career highlight of many a footballer.

It will raise a few eyebrows that, just over half a year after gracing the biggest stage that the sport has to offer, Wright has now chosen to make the SPL his next port of call.

But in his quest for a new adventure, something just felt right about this move to the Sailors.

"I was interested in trying something new with football," Wright told ESPN. "I've been in England for 15, 16 years and I've loved every minute of it but I felt I needed a new challenge.

"I was open-minded as to what that might be but from the moment I had a chat with the guys (Sailors management) and got off the Zoom call, I had this real feeling of something exciting happening here.

"I wanted something that was a learning environment where I could thrive in as well. When I saw the facilities and how everything was run, I thought this is a place that's heading in the right direction."

Turning only 31 later this month, Wright still has plenty he wants to achieve in his career.

That originally could have taken him elsewhere in Asia or even back home to play in the A-League, with the centre-back matter-of-factly revealing both were among his options before he chose to put pen to paper with the Sailors.

Now, his goals at club level will be to help the Sailors reclaim the SPL title they last won in 2021, along with making their mark in the continental AFC Champions League following a creditable debut appearance last year.

And, from a personal perspective, Wright is adamant that his move to a less-prominent competition will not hinder his ongoing desire to continue representing the Socceroos -- especially with more exciting tasks on the agenda after the high of playing at a World Cup.

"I've still got ambitions," he explained. "I want to win things here with the Sailors.

"And I've got ambitions with the national team. We (Australia) have got important games coming up -- we've got the (AFC) Asian Cup, we've got another World Cup to qualify for -- so I want to keep playing at the highest level possible and keep achieving those things.

"I felt the opportunity to come here and try something new was one that motivated me.

"I've seen that the (Singapore Premier) League's got a long way to go to where it wants to go, but that's also the exciting part of it -- that you can be part of a big project."

Indeed, for a club and a competition that harbour hopes of one day being ranked among Asia's elite, securing the services of a World Cup player of Wright's ilk does come off as a real coup and a step in the right direction.

Yet, try telling the down-to-earth Wright that his credentials could soon make him a real draw at SPL stadiums.

"To be honest, if you know my character as a person, it doesn't really cross my mind," the Victoria native added, with an air of candour and slight bemusement.

"I'm extremely proud and honoured to have played a World Cup but I'm just me. I'm here to be who I am and do what I've done and what's got me to where I am in my career.

"The different experiences that come along the way are incredible and can only enhance you as to how you can help the group but I've got a lot to learn off the boys here. I'm excited about that.

"I guess that (being a World Cup player) is just an added expectation that comes with me coming here but I'm just a normal bloke, really."

Frank, sincere and without any airs despite all he has achieved in his career already, Wright does seem a normal bloke off the field.

But, on the field, both he and the Sailors will be hoping the next few weeks, months and even years, will produce something far from ordinary.

That is, after all, why Singapore was chosen as the next chapter of Bailey Wright's adventures.