WELLINGTON Phoenix FC has secured the services of versatile Socceroos defender Jade North for the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season.
The signing of North is a coup for the Phoenix, with the 28-year-old set to resume a defensive partnership he established with current Phoenix captain Andrew Durante when both players led the Newcastle Jets to the Hyundai A-League championship in 2008.
North has been capped 28 times for Australia at senior level and has represented his country at under-17, under-20 and under-23 level. North, who is seen by the Phoenix as a perfect replacement for departed compatriot Jon McKain, joins the Wellington club from Norwegian side Tromso.
Phoenix head coach Ricki Herbert was delighted to have North onboard.
“Jade-s a proven performer at elite level, with almost 100 appearances in the Hyundai A-League. He was outstanding for the Jets alongside Dura when they won the title a couple of seasons back and he-ll fit in really well with the group we have here.
“Not only does he have a wealth of experience but he also brings significant leadership qualities to the club, having captained the Jets, and he-s a great replacement for Jon McKain.”
Herbert said the signing of North completed the bulk of recruitment for the Phoenix at this point, with the compulsory 20 players on the club-s books. However, the Phoenix may look at adding prolific Indonesian striker Bambang Pamungkas to the roster following a trial stint with the squad beginning shortly.
“We-re fortunate in that we-ve retained the core of the squad from last season-s great campaign and that we-ve been able to add some real talent and quality in key areas of the pitch from front the back. There-s plenty of cause for optimism about our chances this season and we-re looking forward to getting things under way.”
Phoenix chairman Terry Serepisos said the deal with North was a fillip for the Phoenix-s championship aspirations.
“We took our time in terms of recruitment to make sure we got the right people for the right jobs. In Jade we-re delighted to have a defender of such calibre and a player who has proven himself as a professional footballer.
“I-m extremely happy with how our squad has come together and the additions we-ve brought to the club will definitely make significant contributions this season.”
Date of birth:
January 7, 1982 in Taree, Australia
Height, weight: 1.80m, 78kg
Playing position: Defender
Club history: 2010 Tromso (Norway), 2009 Incheon United (South Korea), 2005-09 Newcastle Jets, 2003-04 Perth Glory, 2001-03 Sydney Olympic, 1998-2001 Brisbane Strikers
Hyundai A-League: 97 matches (2 goals) for Newcastle Jets and Perth Glory
Representative: 2002- Australia (28 matches), 2004/08 Australia under-23 (15 matches, 1 goal), Australia under-20 (6/1), Australia under-17 (19/4)