Wellington Phoenix have made a number of announcements over the last few days.
Wellington Phoenix News
- A-League Men’s team to target January transfer window
- A-League Women’s team announcements this week
- Club clarified departure of former captain
A-League Men’s Team
Wellington Phoenix head coach Ufuk Talay specified that the current COVID-19 situation means that the club will not just continue to look for players now, but also in the upcoming season in January.
“It is going to be a challenging season. We are trying to make it work the best we can,” said Talay during a media brief.
“There are players we are currently in talks with. There are players we would like to sign in the January windows.
“At the moment we cannot sign players and bring them to New Zealand. We’ve got two players currently, Reno (Piscopo) is in Melbourne and we cannot bring him across. Nicholas Pennington is currently in Italy and we cannot bring him across.
“It has been challenging.”
He later added: “We are covering all bases at the moment to see what is the best way for us to get through to January.
“Because we are not going to be able to get them in the country and the window closes October the 18th to be able to sign a player and bring them in.
“It is either we look local or we look in Australia at this present time. At the moment we are still looking at a visa player coming in in January to replace him (former captain Steven Taylor).
A-League Women’s Team
The Wellington Phoenix will be making a series of announcements in the upcoming days about their A-League Women’s side. The Wellington club had been named as one of three A-League Men’s franchises that would be adding A-League Women’s sides prior to the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup.
Unlike the two other clubs, the Central Coast Mariners and Western United, Phoenix will be launching their team this season. Little news has emerged from the club about the women’s side since the team’s launch three weeks ago.
According to Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand Football will provide “significant funding and staff”. This is an arrangement that is due to last for the next two years. Stuff also states that on top of this announcement, the team’s head coach should also be named this week.
Wellington Phoenix’s Steven Taylor Clarification
Wellington Phoenix released an update about the events that lead to former captain Steven Taylor’s retirement. The club started by thanking Taylor for the legacy he left with the Phoenix. The update then outlines the contractual history of Taylor at the club and the events prior to his retirement.
The release was deemed necessary by General Manager David Dome after contrary information immersed as to the events that lead to Taylor’s retirement, specifically that he would have stayed with Wellington Phoenix had he been offered a second year on his contract.
Head Coach Talay specified in the release:
“I don’t think him (Taylor) saying he had a two-year deal was ever going to change his decision [to retire]; the way I look at it is that people look at what they don’t have, and for me you’ve got to look at what you have,” says Talay.
“And the thing was, when (was Taylor) initially signed his extension (in 2019) we actually gave him a two-year deal; in-between that he then approached the Club to ask if it was possible for him to leave to earn a bigger contract in India – we gave him that opportunity, and when he came back [in Feb 2021] we continued his contract that we had given him initially.
“So the decision was never around a (new) two-year deal with (Taylor), I never had that discussion around a two-year deal with him, and I don’t think it would’ve changed his decision to retire – because the conversation I had with him were around him going back home to see his father and being close to his family.”
Talay clarified during a media brief that he had named Taylor as captain with hopes it would motivate him to stay.
“For me it is disappointing that he is gone. He was a great character, a great leader for us but at the end of the day this is football and players and individuals need to make decisions what is best for them,” said Talay.
He later added “Tayls has left and the opportunity arises for another player to step in.”
Talay did not want to specify who his new captain will be stating he would see who steps up before the season starts before assigning that role.
The schedules for the opening Wellington Phoenix matches can be found in the following links for men and women.
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