Phoenix release striker and young defender to join NZ Premiership teams

Wellington Phoenix has reached a mutual termination agreement with striker Hamish Watson, who leaves the club immediately.

After a spell in England, Watson returned to the Nix, making 39 appearances over four seasons and scoring five goals.

A strong, back-to-goal target man Watson made eight appearances this season for Phoenix from the bench, but has found game time limited in recent years.

For head coach Darije Kalezić the decision to chase more game time elsewhere is the right decision for Watson at this stage in his career, and comes with the club’s blessing.

“Hamish is a player who is very good to work with, he’s very professional, and he’s one of the local boys, which is important for the football club to have for connection and identity.”

“Unfortunately he has not had enough match time over the past few seasons, and his expectations of future matches was not very high.

“We support his choice to take the step to Premiership level in order to play game time, build confidence and rediscover his love for football, and hopefully make a step forward again in the future.”

The club has also had an approach from an NZ Premiership side to sign its talented young centre back Liam Wood, who has captained the Phoenix Reserves side for the past two seasons in the ISPS Handa Premiership.

Wellington Phoenix fully supports these players in taking opportunities such as participation in the OFC Champions League to aid their future development.

The club thanks both Hamish and Liam for their time with the club and wishes them both the very best for the next chapters of their career.