Phoenix Academy Continues To Develop The Best In Emerging Talent


The Wellington Phoenix Academy continues to develop outstanding football talent for the club’s first team but also for players to go on to academic opportunities overseas.

Following on from the signings of professional contracts to Academy graduates Sarpreet Singh, Liberato Cacace and contracts for past students Tom Doyle and Louis Fenton, a number of other Academy graduates have been offered opportunities at leading United States Universities.

2018 Academy Graduates:

  • Sam Philip has departed and taken up a scholarship at University of Albany, New York
  • Pending end of year exam results, Calvin Harris has accepted a scholarship at Wake Forrest University, North Carolina. He will depart January 2019.
  • Liam Moore has been offered a scholarship at Loyola University, Chicago. He will depart in January 2019
  • Pending end of year exam results, Willem Ebbinge has accepted a scholarship at Harvard University, Boston. He will take up his opportunity in August 2019.
  • Owen Smith has been offered a scholarship at San Jose State University. He will depart in August 2019.
  • Ollie Whyte has taken up a youth contract with Rio Avenue in the Portuguese Primeira Liga.

Academy Director, Paul Temple, says the opportunities being offered to graduates of the Wellington Phoenix Academy is testament to the programme that the club has built up over the years.

“We are very fortunate at the Phoenix that the owners have invested significantly into the Academy and we are seeing a number of players coming through, going on to gain professional contracts or overseas opportunities.

“Libby and Sarpreet of course have signed pro contracts here in Wellington, but we’ve always known that not every graduate can move into the First Team, and we work really hard to ensure every player that comes through our system has their own pathway.

“The US College route continues to be an excellent choice for players who are still focused on tertiary education and combining their football development.

“Recent captain of the National Under-20s side in Tahiti, Joe Bell, is a perfect example of the type of player who has come through our programme and gone on to exceptional achievements with Virginia.”


At A Glance

Past Football School of Excellence and Academy Graduates

  • FSE students Tom Doyle and Louis Fenton with a combined 151 Hyundai A-League games.
  • FSE students Hamish Watson and Justin Gulley who made 1st Team appearances now playing at Team Wellington.
  • FSE student, James Musa now playing at Phoenix Rising in USA
  • Andrew Blake, Joel Stevens and Ollie Whyte playing at Hibernian (SCO), Husvarna (SWE) and Rio Avenue (POR) respectively.
  • Logan Rogerson and James McGarry playing in Europe at Jena (GER) and Willem II (Holland) respectively.

US Scholarships:

  • Joe Bell – Univ of Virginia. Started in all 21 games as a freshman, made the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) All Freshman Team of the Year, made the ACC All Academic Team of the Year, Captained the NZ Under-20 in victory in the recent WC Qualifying
  • Tam Dimairo – University of Charleston
  • Ben Stroud – Missouri State
  • Louis Evans – Davidson College
  • Ben Mata – Missouri State
  • Luke Johnson – University of North Carolina
  • Sam Philip – University of Albany, New York.

Current U-17 & U-20 National Team:

Adam Hillis, Alex Paulsen, Ben Old, Finn O’Connor, Henry Hamilton, Jackson Manuel, Joseph Lee,  Kris Naiker, Oskar van Hattum, Willem Ebbinge and Zac Jones.