The Wellington Phoenix are pleased to announce the signing of Phoenix Reserves players George Ott and Kurtis Mogg on one-year scholarship contracts.
To promote players from the reserve grade shows the important role the Academy plays in developing players for the first team. – Ufuk Talay
Ott, who turns 20 today, is a talented forward who joined the Phoenix Reserves side last season from the Hamilton Wanderers. Playing for Lower Hutt AFC in the Central League last season, Ott registered an impressive 20 goals in 18 matches to lead the competition.
English-born defender Mogg, 20, has been with the Phoenix Reserves for the past three seasons. He recently captained the Lower Hutt AFC side to a third-place finish in the Central League competition.
Wellington Phoenix Head Coach, Ufuk Talay says that both players have shown themselves to be hard workers who are willing to do what it takes to help the squad.
“They’ve both shown in training and the pre-season friendlies that they’re able to contribute to the team,” says Talay.
“To promote players from the reserve grade shows the important role the Academy plays in developing players for the first team.”
Wellington Phoenix Academy Technical Director, Paul Temple says that both Mogg and Ott are well-deserved additions to the Phoenix first team who are ready for the jump into the professional ranks.
“This is great news for Moggy [Kurtis Mogg], who joined the Academy in 2018 so it’s been a long three-year journey for him – he was our captain last year and developed into a real leader; he’s also both a humble lad and a hard worker,” says Temple.
“These kids give up their lives around the country, leaving their families to come here to fight for the dream of becoming a professional football player – so it’s fantastic when you see it happen to someone like Moggy, you’re literally making a kid’s dream come true.
“And George is a pretty recent recruit; he came to us with a ton of potential but it’s a credit to the Academy staff and to George as to how much he’s progressed over the past year.
“He’s a big lad and a very physical no.9 striker, what impresses me is that he’s come here and put a lot of work in both on and off the field – he deserves a lot of credit because he’s turned himself into an exceptional goal scorer.”
Hamilton Wanderers Chair, David Douglas says that the Club is ‘incredibly proud’ to see Ott signed by the Phoenix.
“This follows on from the great promise he showed at Hamilton Wanderers in our National and Northern league teams, and it has continued on with Wellington,” says Douglas.
“It’s capped off a superb week for our club with George making it three former players, along with Grace Wisnewski and Kelli Brown, stepping up to the professional ranks at the Phoenix; we wish them all the best as they start their professional careers.”
Temple says that Ott and Mogg are hard-working boys who just want to do well for the Phoenix.
“I know have George and Kurtis will fight tooth and nail for the Phoenix and that’s what you want – and what the fans want to see.”
Both Ott and Mogg have been training with the Phoenix during the pre-season and will travel with the squad to New South Wales in early November.