Wellington Phoenix are pleased to announce the signing of New Zealand International and Premiership winning captain, Tim Payne on a one-year contract.
The Auckland born, 25 year old adds to the wealth of kiwi talent at Head Coach Ufuk Talay’s disposal as he plans for the future.
Payne started his youth career with Auckland City FC before crossing town for Waitakere United where he made his mark, which contributed to his call up to the New Zealand side for the 2011 U17 World Cup in Mexico.
After an impressive campaign, Payne spent several months trailing with Premier League side Blackburn Rovers before signing a two and a half year contract with them.
The midfielder then returned home back to Auckland City where he made ten appearances before heading overseas to the American side, Portland Timbers 2.
Most recently, Payne has been a figurehead for Auckland based side Eastern Suburbs, where he most recently captained them to their first ever National title since 1971.
Payne has also represented his country at all age group levels making his full All Whites debut in May 2012, coming on for Leo Bertos in a 1-0 win over Honduras in Dallas.
Payne is excited to have signed with the Wellington Phoenix.
"It’s very exciting to have the opportunity to be back in a professional set up.
"We’re a unique team being New Zealand’s only professional football club and I’m really looking forward to what we can achieve this season.
"I know it’s not going to be easy to secure a spot in that starting lineup, with so much talent involved, but I know I have the ability and drive to succeed here in Wellington.
"Ufuk has a lot of belief in the younger players here, and he’s been extremely encouraging which definitely helps my game."
Head Coach, Talay is excited to bring more kiwi players in to the squad and believes Payne offers experience and maturity in to the mix.
"Tim is a hard worker who has shown that with drive and perseverance, good things can happen.
"He’s a versatile player that fits well in to my vision for the season ahead and having been involved in a professional set up before, he brings a level of composure to the dressing room too.
"His professional mentality and technical ability is something that excites me."
Payne has been training with the team this week and will permanently relocate this weekend before preparations continue ahead of the first pre-season friendly against Wairarapa United.
At a Glance
2009-10 Auckland City FC – 1 Appearance | 1 Goal | Coach: Paul Posa
2010-12 Waitakere United – 7 Appearances | Coach: Neil Emblem
2012-14 Blackburn Rovers – Coach: Henning Berg, Michael Appleton, Gary Bowyer
2014-15 Auckland City FC – 10 Appearances | 1 Goal | Coach: Ramon Tribulietx
2015-16 Portland Timbers 2 – 22 Appearances | Coach: Jay Vidovich, Andrew McGregor
2016 – Eastern Suburbs – 46 Appearances | 2 Goals | Coach: Danny Hay