Ex-Sydney FC Championship-winning defender Mark Rudan has been appointed as the new coach of Wellington Phoenix.
Phoenix confirmed the news on Wednesday, with Rudan agreeing to a two-year deal as head coach of the Hyundai A-League club.
“I would like to place on record my thanks to the Wellington Phoenix Board for giving me this opportunity,” Rudan said.
“The Phoenix have a reputation for giving young Australian and New Zealand footballers their first starts in the Hyundai A League and now as a coach I have my first A-League coaching opportunity.”
Rudan enjoyed a successful playing career, including stints in Germany, China, Japan and Switzerland.
He returned for the inaugural season of the Hyundai A-League, captaining Sydney FC to the title in the 2005/06 Season.
The 42-year-old transitioned seamlessly into coaching, winning the NSW NPL and Australian Premier League crowns with Sydney United.
Rudan now hopes to transfer that success to the Phoenix and turn them into a winning club.
“There is huge potential at the Phoenix, already signed for the squad is a core group of experienced A-League players as well as some of the most exciting young talents in the A-League and we have the funding for some quality visa players ready to go,” Rudan said.
“The club has organised a great off-season with games in Asia and Australia already booked in.
“I couldn’t be more excited about the season ahead.”
Phoenix Chairman Rob Morrison said Rudan was the right man to lead Phoenix to become a Hyundai A-League powerhouse.
“The feedback on Mark from the people we spoke to, which included some of the most respected and experienced people in Australian football, was universally excellent with all stressing what a talented coach, man manager and determined leader he is,” Morrison said.
"Mark is an exciting 'next generation' coach, who will bring fresh energy, focus and discipline to the playing group at the club and he can't wait to stamp his mark upon the A-League.
"We are an 'underdog' club, we can't escape that, we have to fight for everything we get and we wanted someone who would buy into what the club faces and is capable of leading that fights and we think Mark is that person."