Wellington Phoenix are pleased to confirm the signing of New Zealand International and multi-Premiership winner, Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi on a one-year contract.
The 24 year old defensive player currently plays for Onehunga Sports FC in Auckland’s Lotto NRFL Premier League but has previously represented OFC Champions, Auckland City since his debut in 2015.
Hudson-Wihongi has also represented his country in the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup and 2015 Pacific Games where he scored in a 5-0 group game win over New Caledonia.
The 24-year old made his full All Whites debut in November 2015, coming on for Marco Rojas in a 1-0 win over Oman.
In 2010, Auckland-born, Hudson-Wihongi moved to Christchurch and joined the Asia Pacific Football Academy before earning himself a move to Major League Soccer club, Real Salt Lake in 2012.
After a couple of years in the professional environment with the MLS U-18s side, Hudson-Wihongi returned to New Zealand and played for the 2015 U-20 FIFA World Cup build-up team, Wanderers SC.
He later signed for then-OFC Champions, Auckland City and appeared in the 2015 FIFA Club World Cup campaign in a 2-0 loss to J1 League, Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
Having previously trialled for the club in pre-season of last year, Hudson-Wihongi is happy to have secured a contract.
"I’m feeling very excited to be here and relieved as it’s been a long time coming for me.
"Last year, I faced two untimely injuries which ruled out the chance to sign so this a great moment for me and I can’t wait to make my mark here in Wellington," Hudson-Wihongi said.
Head Coach, Ufuk Talay believes Hudson-Wihongi holds plenty of talent to become a regular starter this season.
"Te Atawhai is a young player that has already experienced a lot in his career on the International and FIFA Club World Cup stage so I’m looking forward to seeing his progression on a daily basis," Talay commented.
Hudson-Wihongi has been training in Wellington for a week and is enjoying the positive environment at the club.
At A Glance
2011-12 Canterbury United – 1 Appearance | Coach: Keith Braithwaite
2014-15 Wanderers SC – 16 Appearances | 2 Goals | Coach: Darren Bazeley
2015- Auckland City – 42 Appearances | 81 Appearances | 5 Goals | Coach: Ramon Tribulietx