Five things to know about Wellington's new English import

Mark Rudan has landed his first signing as Wellington Phoenix coach and it could be one that proves key to transforming the club's fortunes.

Former Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor arrives in the Hyundai A-League with an impressive resume highlighted by a 13-year Premier League career.

CONFIRMED: Phoenix sign ex-Premier League defender

READ: Every Hyundai A-League club's pre-season schedule

Now 32, the one-time England 'B' international proved he still has plenty to offer by amassing 51 competitive appearances for League One side Peterborough United last season.

Here are five insights into Phoenix's new man.


Andrew Durante will be the perfect man to welcome his new defensive partner to Wellington: they once played against each other at Westpac Stadium!

The pair went toe-to-toe at set pieces when Phoenix hosted Newcastle in a pre-season friendly as part of the Football United Tour in 2014.

Yoan Gouffran's goal split the teams in a 1-0 win for the Premier League outfit, who also met Sydney FC during their visit to New Zealand.

Steven Taylor
Taylor takes on Durante and Ben Sigmund.


Few people are held in as high esteem at St. James' Park as Bobby Robson, so it came as a ringing endorsement of Taylor's potential when the former England manager handed him his Newcastle United debut as an 18-year-old in 2004.

He had previously gained experienced playing under his hero, Arsenal great Tony Adams, during a formative loan spell at Wycombe Wanderers.

The defender would go on to spend more than 20 years with the Magpies in total after joining the club's academy aged just nine.


Taylor has been called up to the England national team twice in his career.

The first was as a 21-year-old in August 2007 before he returned to the squad for a FIFA World Cup qualifier against San Marino six years later.

But despite winning 29 caps for the Three Lions' U21s, his hopes of stepping onto the pitch for a full senior international fell narrowly short.

Steven Taylor
Taylor scores for his country against Poland U21s.


Rudan was a strong leader throughout his playing days and appears to value the quality judging by his first signing.

Taylor captained his country at level from U16s to U21s and occasionally wore the armband for Newcastle.

His passion for the town and vocal displays for the club once led former boss Steve McClaren to liken him to Chelsea great John Terry.

Indeed, in 2009 and he was even rumoured to be in the sights of the Blues as a potential replacement for their long-serving skipper.

Steven Taylor and Cristiano Ronaldo
Grappling with Cristiano Ronaldo.


Wellington's notorious wind should be no challenge for a man well accustomed to the harsh winters of northern England.

So familiar with tough playing conditions is Taylor that he once took it upon himself to sweep away snow during a weather-delayed match against Walsall in February.

Given five minutes by the referee for the pitch to improve, the former Seattle Sounders man grabbed a shovel and began clearing the lines to get play back underway.

"It was the hardest I worked all night," he joked.