PREMIERSHIP | Phoenix Announce Academy Signings to Reserve Side

The Phoenix has announced the signing of three more players for the ASB Premiership squad to add to the eight named 24 hours ago.

Goalkeeper Marcel Kampman, full back Sam Wilson and midfielder James McGarry are all 16 years old.

The trio are all products of the Christchurch based Asia Pacific Football Academy and moved to the Wellington Phoenix Football Academy based at Scots College in Wellington this year.

Head Coach of the Phoenix’ ASB Premiership side Andy Hedge said it was gratifying to see exciting young talent being given the chance to show their potential at the highest level in New Zealand.

“Following on from the excellent work of APFA these three players have all excelled at the Phoenix Academy.

“Part of the Club’s strategy being overseen by Ernie Merrick and the coaches at the Academy is to expose young players to the best possible competition at the youngest possible age.

“This is the Club’s development strategy in action and it’s exciting to see the next wave of New Zealand’s football talent being developed and showcased right before our eyes.”

The signings bring the Reserves side squad to a total of 11 with more signings yet to be announced.

The conditions of Wellington Phoenix’ participation in the ASB Premiership provide for four professional players from its A-League roster to be named in the match day squad.

An additional two under-20 professionals from the A-league roster can be named in their ASB Premiership match day squad if approved by the opposition and New Zealand Football.

Team Wellington has approved Wellington Phoenix’ request to use two under-20 professionals this weekend which means in all likelihood Alex Rufer and Matthew Ridenton will get valuable game time.

Hedge said the Phoenix was extremely grateful for Team Wellington’s assistance and highlighted the extremely good working relationship between the Clubs.

“The idea of us having a team in the ASB Premiership is not just to give our fringe players game time but also to assist in the development of young New Zealand players,” Hedge said.

“Team Wellington has recognised this and has shown how there is an emerging collaborative spirit within football in this country and Team Wellington is at the forefront of this.

“We will be approaching all other ASB Premiership sides in the same spirit seeking their support. “Our past relationship with Team Wellington was particularly successful and in the spirit of a sister club relationship we are looking forward to working together in the future on other projects.”