Transfer news: Phoenix unveil Croatian midfielder

Head Coach Darije Kalezic presents new signing Goran Paracki with his Wellington Phoenix jersey.

Wellington Phoenix have gone to Croatia to strengthen their midfield stocks, announcing the signing of the experienced Goran Paracki on Thursday morning.

GETTING TO KNOW GORAN

*The 30-year-old has made almost 200 appearances in the Croatian top flight.

*He was capped more than 10 times for the Croatian U19 team, coming from a generation which includes Fiorentina’s Nikola Kalinić and Napoli’s Ivan Strinjić.

*Paracki will begin training with Phoenix on Thursday, and could make his competitive debut in the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 clash against Western Sydney Wanderers.

WHAT CONVINCED HIM TO COME TO NZ

“I’ve played most of my life in Croatia. But Darije called me and told me about his background, his project here at Wellington,” Paracki explained.

“My position is important, for the club’s goal to play the finals, and afterwards I thought about [this conversation] more and more.

“My mum, I think she is a little sad, but this is football life – my friends understand this, you never know where you are going to go or where you are going to play. My wife she is very excited, she will come join me here closer to the season beginning.”

Dutchman Darije Kalezic is looking forward to getting stuck into pre-season with new club Wellington Phoenix. Pic Credit: Cameron McIntosh“My best friend in Croatia has a good friend, Mateo Poljak. He told me everything good about the league, about the quality of life. He spoke very highly of the reputation as well of Rado, so in the end I was very exciting to take this new opportunity.”

KALEZIC PREDICTING BIG THINGS

“He is hard-working, has a good mentality – a mentality that fits very well with the Australian and New Zealand league style. I think in Goran the fans will get a player they will really like,” the Phoenix boss said.

“He comes from a very good professional environment, on the ball he’s also a very technical player, which adds a lot of quality in the way that we want to play our football.”

Phoenix 2017/18 Season Squad so far:

Goalkeepers: Lewis Italiano, Oliver Sail

Defenders: Tom Doyle, Marco Rossi, Andrew Durante, Scott Galloway, Dylan Fox, Ryan Lowry, Louis Fenton

Midfielders: Gui Finkler, Michael McGlinchey, Sarpreet Singh, Matt Ridenton, Goran Paracki, Alex Rufer, James McGarry

Forwards: Roy Krishna, Adam Parkhouse, Logan Rogerson, Hamish Watson

Source  :  Football Federation Australia

Hyundai A-League’s impact on Confederations Cup -Andrew Durante

Andrew Durante (Phoenix) – The Wellington Phoenix skipper played all three matches for New Zealand as the All Whites pushed Russia and Mexico in their opening two matches.

Source  :  Football Federation Australia

New Zealand beaten in Confederations Cup

New Zealand were beaten 2-0 by Russia in their Confederations Cup opener.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Chris Myson
Russia cruised to a comfortable 2-0 win over New Zealand as the hosts made a confident start to the Confederations Cup.

Hyundai A-League stars Andrew Durante, Marco Rojas, Michael McGlinchey and Kosta Barbarouses all started for the All Whites.

Three of the previous nine Confederations Cups have been won by the host nation and Russia, playing in the tournament for the first time, impressed with victory in Saint Petersburg.

After having two early chances cleared off the line, they took the lead when Michael Boxall scored an own goal after Denis Glushakov had struck the post.

Russia made sure of victory in the second half, with Fyodor Smolov’s third goal in four internationals ensuring president Vladimir Putin, who called for improved performances in the event, was applauding happily in the stands.

New Zealand are now without a win in 10 Confederations Cup matches and struggled to make an attacking impression.

Portugal and Mexico, who meet on Sunday, are the other two teams in Group A.

Three of the previous nine Confederations Cups have been won by the host nation and Russia, playing in the tournament for the first time, impressed with victory in Saint Petersburg.

After having two early chances cleared off the line, they took the lead when Michael Boxall scored an own goal after Denis Glushakov had struck the post.

Russia made sure of victory in the second half, with Fyodor Smolov’s third goal in four internationals ensuring president Vladimir Putin, who called for improved performances in the event, was applauding happily in the stands.

New Zealand are now without a win in 10 Confederations Cup matches and struggled to make an attacking impression. Portugal and Mexico, who meet on Sunday, are the other two teams in Group A.

 

Source :  Football Federation Australia

Hyundai A-League’s Confeds Cup men -Andrew Durante (New Zealand)

Andrew Durante (New Zealand) – Led by example for Wellington Phoenix in the Hyundai A-League and deserves his crack at some of the world’s best in Russia.

 

Source : Football Federation Australia

Newcastle Jets 3 x 2 Wellington Phoenix

Danish striker Morten Nordstrand was the hero with a second-half brace as Newcastle Jets saw off Wellington Phoenix to win 3-2 at Hunter Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Jets’ mid-season signing was the difference, smashing a superb brace in the second half after Phoenix had twice lead.

A day after the club’s Hyundai A-League licence was extended by 10 years, Phoenix striker Hamish Watson was set to write his own headlines with two first half goals, but he sullied his impact with a second half red card.

The Jets took the lead shortly after to register a precious three points.

GOALS

21’ Hamish Watson 0-1 Wellington Phoenix

A corner skied off Mullen’s head to Watson at the far post who calmly collected the ball and slotted past Birighitti for his first A-League goal.

 26’ OG Andrew Durante 1-1 Newcastle Jets

An own goal to Phoenix skipper after Leonardo’s brilliant burst through and ball in behind the Phoenix defence found Alivodic who’s cross was turned into his own goal by Durante.

36’ Hamish Watson 1-2 Wellington Phoenix

Roly Bonevacia’s slide-rule ball through found Powell and as Birighitti advanced, the ball spilled loose in the box, it fell perfectly for Watson who swept it home to give the visitors the lead for a second time.

52’ Morten Nordstrand 2-2 Newcastle Jets

Leonardo poked a ball through to the Dane and his exquisite right footed strike curled past Moss.

72’ Morten Nordstrand 3-2 Newcastle Jets

Found on the left wing, his interplay with Alivodic in the box opened up the space and his burst through and shot was too good for Moss.

KEY MOMENT

Hamish Watson’s silly second yellow and the Jets took a winning lead within minutes.

HIGHLIGHTS REEL

Glen Moss’s fabulous save in 44th minute kept out the Jets on the stroke of halftime after Alivodic found the lively Leonardo. Likewise Birighitti’s second-half save low down to his left was equally good.

THE FINAL WORD

The Jets’ mini-revival continues while Phoenix couldn’t cap a sensational week with another win.

Phoenix now head home to face City on Friday night with a big crowd expected, while the Jets take the journey down the F3 to face local rivals the Mariners on Sunday.

 

TEAMS:

Newcastle Jets: Birighitti, Mullen, Hoffman, Boogaard (c), Watson (Cowburn 66’), Alivodic, Trifunovic, Leonardo (Kitto 8′), Ugarkovic, Nordstrand (Cooper 79’) Jackson

Wellington Phoenix: Moss (gk) Muscat (Fenton), Fox, Durante, Doyle, Riera, Bonevacia, Ridenton (Sigmund 82′) Powell (Appiah-Kubi 82’), Watson, McGlinchey.

Red cards:

Phoenix: Watson

Yellow cards: 

Jets: Watson, Birighitti

Phoenix Doyle, Watson x 2

Conditions: 27C, Sunny, warm

Attendance: 7120 @ Hunter Stadium

 

Football Federation Australia

Hyundai A-League team of the last 10 seasons – Andrew Durante

Central Defender: Andrew Durante: ‘Dura’ has been the rock at the heart of Phoenix’s defence since 2008. Won a championship at the Jets before turning the Phoenix into a finals force.
Football Federation Australia

Andrew Durante: Wellington Phoenix focused on A-League success

Alejandro Gorrin was a bright spark for the Phoenix in their 1-0 loss to Newcastle.

After good performances against West Ham and Newcastle United the key now for the Wellington Phoenix will be to translate that form into A-League success, says skipper Andrew Durante.

The Phoenix backed up their 2-1 victory over the Hammers in midweek with a 1-0 defeat to the Magpies on Saturday evening.

But the A-League side matched their more illustrious opponents at Westpac Stadium and were unlucky not to come away with a draw.

Striker Jeremy Brockie was denied twice by some smart goalkeeping from Rob Elliot, while All Whites keeper Glen Moss made a couple of crucial saves to keep the Phoenix in the hunt.

In the end it was a 41st minute header from Newcastle forward Yoan Gouffran that eventually split the two teams.

“We’ve set a benchmark now that we can compete against good teams and play really goodfootball,” Durante said. “It will be really disappointing if we left it all in these two pre-season games and started the season slowly.

“We had a tough season last year and getting in training early, having these games and getting our squad together nice and early is going to reap rewards.

“If we continue to play how we’ve played over the last two games it could be a very exciting season.”

Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick believed his side’s performance on Saturday had been better than in the win against West Ham.

“We continually built from the back. We kept possession really well and we created goal-scoring chances up front,” he enthused.

“It was one of those nights the ball wouldn’t go in the net. But our football today was a step up from (West Ham) against a very slick outfit.

“Newcastle deserved to win but we pretty well matched them for most of the game.”

Few fans would have given the Phoenix, who finished ninth in the A-League last season, much chance against Premier League opposition and even Durante admitted the results had probably exceeded even the players’ expectations.

“Ernie said to us you’ll be surprised how good you are when you come up against these teams,” revealed the skipper. “The step up is obviously a big one and it (the results) probably did exceed our expectations. But we did believe we could put on a good show.”

The Phoenix face Adelaide United in the FFA Cup early next month.

Wellington Phoenix 2014/15 Season Memberships are now on sale. Click here for information and to sign up today.

 

Source : Football Federation Australia