Ex-Victory star ready to shine for Phoenix

Phoenix marquee signing Gui Finkler was on the training field for the Hyundai A-League club less than 24 hours after landing in Wellington from Brazil.

Finkler had been told he didn’t need to train till Monday but insisted he wanted to get straight into it.

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The talented former Melbourne Victory midfielder said it was the first time in seven weeks that he had kicked a football and enjoyed every minute of the session.

“I have learnt over the years that the best thing for me when the season ends is not to kick a ball till pre-season training starts,” Finkler said.

“It means I feel fresh and can start to enjoy training straight away.”

Finkler described his move to the Phoenix as a new chapter and challenge in his life and didn’t foresee any problems settling in at his new club.

“I have been through many changes in my soccer life and I think it is good to have a new challenge,” he said,

“I know many of the players because I played against them many times during my four years at Victory.”

Brazilian playmaker Gui Finkler has joined Wellington Phoenix.

Asked how the move came about Finkler said Phoenix head coach Ernie Merrick had rung him towards the end of last season and asked if he was interested in moving to New Zealand.

“He told me about the club and the direction in which it was headed and I liked what I heard,” he said.

“Everyone speaks highly of Ernie at Victory where he used to coach and hopefully he can help me improve my game.

“He knows the way I like to play and I think he has a plan for me.”

Finkler is delighted that Kosta Barbarouses is also coming to the Phoenix.

“Kosta and myself have played together for two years and have developed a good understanding.

“We can help each other both on and off the field.”

Finkler has definite ideas about what he wants to happen this season.

“We have to aim for the trophy and if we don’t win it then we need to be in the top two because it is very difficult to make the grand final if you finish further back.”