Phoenix take a Mulligan

WELLINGTON Phoenix FC’s already impressive defensive and midfield stocks have been further bolstered by the signing of former Scunthorpe United and current All Whites player David Mulligan.

WELLINGTON Phoenix FC-s already impressive defensive and midfield stocks have been further bolstered by the signing of former Scunthorpe United and current All Whites player David Mulligan.

The 26-year-old defender joins the Phoenix on a two-year deal after a long career in England, including two seasons with Scunthorpe in the Championship, one tier below the Premiership.

The signing of Mulligan is another significant signing coup for the Phoenix, who have recruited impressively and aggressively in their build-up to their second season in the Hyundai A-League.

With key men Andrew Durante and Jon McKain anchoring the Phoenix-s defence, Mulligan will provide further defensive depth with his ability to play at left back and right back - as well as offering another handy midfield option for Phoenix and All Whites coach Ricki Herbert.

Phoenix chief executive Tony Pignata said Mulligan had been on the club-s radar for some time.

“We-ve been discussing options with David for a few months and the opportunity came about last week and we agreed terms to a two-year contract. He offers us a lot of versatility given his ability to play at the back on the left or the right, as well as midfield.

“That-s not to say we were concerned about the resources we already had in place in those positions prior to signing David, but it-s about providing cover.

“One of the things we want this year is to have back-up [in all positions] and have depth in our squad. David certainly adds that depth in a number of areas.”

Pignata said Mulligan had proven top-flight experience after playing for several top English clubs since 2000.

“He-s played in the Championship, which is an extremely good league. Unfortunately things didn-t work out for him when he went to Port Vale. He had a few options in the United Kingdom but he realised that the A-League was an attractive proposition.

“It just goes to show that, instead of playing in the lower leagues in the UK, you can have a great career in the A-League.”

The two-year deal was also significant for the Phoenix and for Mulligan, Pignata said.

“We wanted to have some surety, as did David. It signals our commitment to the future and our commitment to playing a big part in the competition.”

Mulligan will join his new club on Monday, July 28, to undergo a pre-season fitness assessment.

DAVID MULLIGAN Date of birth: March 24, 1982 in Fazakerley, England (26 years) Height, weight: 1.73m, 70kg Playing position: Defender

Club history: 2008 Port Vale, 2007 Grimsby Town (loan), 2006-08 Scunthorpe United, 2004-06 Doncaster Rovers, 2000-03 Barnsley.

Hyundai A-League statistics: None (to debut with Phoenix).

Representative honours: New Zealand All Whites (19 caps, three goals), debut v China Olympic team, June 19, 2002; NZ under-23, NZ under-20, NZ under-17.

Biography: A regular starter for the All Whites, Mulligan brings extensive top-flight experience to the Phoenix. The former Barnsley and Doncaster Rovers player helped Scunthorpe United achieve promotion to the Championship in 2006. He is a versatile defender who can play on both sides of the park as well as midfield. Mulligan is a dead-ball specialist with an eye for goal.