Former Socceroo striker Dylan Macallister has signed with the Wellington Phoenix.
The 27-year-old comes to Wellington from the Central Coast Mariners, for whom he played 35 games and scored five goals during two seasons.
Macallister has represented Australia at under-17, under-23 and senior levels and played top-flight football in Norway before returning to Australia to join the Mariners in 2008.
“We have been looking for a targetman and Dylan will really fit that bill,” said Phoenix chief executive Tony Pignata. “He’s young but very experienced and has the quality and pedigree we’ve been looking for.”
By his own high standards Macallister had a relatively disappointing last season for the Mariners but Pignata is adamant the big marksman will prove a great get for Ricki Herbert’s Phoenix outfit.
“It’s fair to say he probably didn’t have the season he wanted in 2009/10 but we’re confident he’ll come here to Wellington and turn things around. He’s got the ability and he’s the sort of player that will fit in well with the team and the team balance and that’ll allow him to play the sort of football we know he’s capable of.”
The addition of Macallister takes the Phoenix’s current squad to 17 players and the striker will join his new teammates in June for pre-season training.
“We’ll be taking our time making further signings because we want to make sure we are getting players who add depth and dimension to the team,” said Pignata. “We’re identifying the players we want to talk to and we’ve got some trialists joining us soon. We’re happy with where things are at.”
Phoenix regulars Mark Paston, Tim Brown, Ben Sigmund, Tony Lochhead and Leo Bertos – as well as head coach Ricki Herbert – will represent New Zealand at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Young goalkeeper Reece Crowther is currently on loan to Finnish club EIF Ekenas FC.
“All those guys will be coming back to the Phoenix with some tremendous experience behind them and that’ll bode well for our Hyundai A-League campaign this season,” said Pignata.
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