THE past four weeks have been a roller-coaster ride for Broadmeadow's Joel Wood, and his final destination could be Hong Kong.
The 24-year-old striker is now in the third day of a six-day trial with new Hong Kong first-division club Fourway FC.
Just over three weeks ago Wood played 90 minutes for the Newcastle Jets in their trial match against the Central Coast Mariners after training with the A-League champions on and off throughout the off-season.
Meanwhile, the pacy Magic striker was been in sensational club form, playing a major role in Broadmeadow's Northern NSW State League minor premiership, which they secured on Sunday with a 3-1 win over Edgeworth.
Wood missed the Eagles' win after receiving a phone call from Fourway FC on Saturday morning telling him he needed to be on a 2.30pm flight for Hong Kong on Sunday.
He will trial with Fourway until Saturday, when both Wood and Magic coach Peter McGuinness find out if he will be available for the state league finals series.
"It was two weeks ago when we spoke about it, and we knew he would be going to trial, but when it was going to happen we didn't know," McGuinness said.
The Hong Kong first division began in 1908 and is independent of the Chinese leagues.
If selected, Wood will be the only Australian in the Fourway squad, which is dominated by Hong Kong and Congo players.
McGuinness has played a key role in Wood's development, having coached him for four years at stints with Hamilton Olympic, Lake Macquarie and Broadmeadow.
"I had him when I first started coaching the Olympic reserve grade. I took him out of the 19s early on and he was the leading goalscorer that year," he said.
"I went my way to Lakes and he went his way to South Cardiff and we met up again at Lakes and then, obviously, this year [at Magic]."
Wood's rapid development as a footballer has been remarkable.
He started playing the game seriously only at 16, but his previous incarnation as a triathlete meant his fitness was first class, McGuinness said.
"He's always trying to develop and go to the next level. He'd be first to admit he has some areas he needs to improve, but he's very much a work in progress," McGuinness said.
McGuinness is confident that if Wood is signed by Fourway, he has the troops to replace him in the semis.
"Either way we'll know at the end of the week if he'll be going or staying," he said. "If not, someone else in the club is presented with an opportunity.
"Ben Martin started on the weekend and played quite well, and Roger Dowdell came on and scored one and assisted in one, so he put his claims down for a start."