Phoenix sign second Australian international

Darije Kalezic presents Daniel Mullen with his Wellington Phoenix shirt.
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Wellington Phoenix have added the hugely experienced and versatile defender Daniel Mullen to their squad, with a view to boosting defensive competition at the club.

Wellington Phoenix are delighted to announce the signing of defender Daniel Mullen, on a one-year contract.

The Australian U-20, U-23 International and one-cap Socceroo brings a wealth of A-League experience with more than 100 starts over eight seasons as well as extensive Asian Champions League experience, firstly as part of Adelaide United’s trailblazing campaign in 2008, before winning the entire competition in 2014 with the Western Sydney Wanderers.

His experience playing in the top flight in China was also part of the attraction for assistant coach Rado Vidosic, along with his versatility.

“Daniel is a vastly experienced defender, who will bring a wealth of expertise to our club,” said Vidosic.

“He is primarily a centre back but has had great success in wide areas. He’s formidable in the air, very sound at set pieces, he’s a great marker, but is also very comfortable on the ball, which is a crucial component of how we want to play.

“Daniel brings competitiveness, he has a great work-ethnic and temperament, a combativeness that can only improve our squad and the competition for places.

“We want two players for every position – in November we could have Scott Galloway, Tom Doyle, Andrew Durante all away on international duty at once, so we are very fortunate to sign a player of Daniel’s quality.”

For Mullen, it’s a chance to get back to his best form closer to home and to develop himself as a player under an experienced European coach.

“When I left the Jets there was interest from a few different A-League clubs, as well as teams overseas, but either the club or the country wasn’t quite what I was looking for at this stage of my career,” said Mullen.

“I spoke to Romeo Castelen who said only praise about Darije, he told me he’s an excellent professional who will demand a lot of you, but is also a good football person, who will look to play a style of football that appeals to me.”

“I also knew about Rado’s reputation, so when the offer came it only took a matter of days. I’m grateful to the club, and I look forward to repaying that faith in me.”

Mullen has successfully passed his medical and will join the squad for full training in coming weeks.