Wellington Phoenix have clambered back up off the canvas with the signing of forward Jaushua Sotirio, from Western Sydney, on a one-year deal.
A day after talismanic captain Andrew Durante and striker David Williams announced their departures from the Kiwi club, Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay has responded by unveiling a fresh face for his attack.
Sydney-born right winger Sotirio scored 11 goals across 81 league appearances for the Wanderers but could not nail down a consistent starting role. That trend continued in 2018-19 when he started seven of his 13 appearances but failed to convince coach Markus Babbel — even though he netted three times, including a spectacular strike against Melbourne City in January.
Talay said former Olyroos and Young Socceroos attacker Sotirio will help to shape a new-look Wellington frontline.
“I’m looking to bring in players that work hard and aim to continually raise their game and Jaushua fits that bill,” the rookie A-League head coach said.
The 23-year-old Sotirio hoped a trans-Tasman shift would revive his fortunes.
“I have spent most of my career in Sydney, so it was time for a change and a new challenge and Wellington represents the perfect opportunity to prove what I can do,” he said.
“There’s some really exciting young players at the club and I believe we can create something special in Wellington.”
Sotirio is Wellington’s third signing since the end of last season, after deals for New Zealand international goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic and Australian teenage left-back Walter Scott were confirmed recently.