Phoenix midfielder Rufer's tribute to Christchurch victims
Wellington Phoenix midfielder Alex Rufer has paid tribute to victims of the Christchurch terror attacks.
The Hyundai A-League and wider footballing community has been united in support for New Zealand following the tragedy last week.
And the 22-year-old Kiwi, a breakout player for the Phoenix this season, dedicated last Sunday's 3-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers to the victims of the attacks.
"It’s such a horrible thing to happen. It’s a real shame," said Rufer.
"But we’ve come together, we’ve stayed strong and that game last week was for Christchurch, for New Zealand and for all the families that were affected.
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All Whites midfielder Rufer has been in stellar touch for Mark Rudan's side this season and signed a one-year contract extension in February.
He has made 20 appearances for the fourth-placed Phoenix, who currently sit fourth and are in the box seat for a home final.
"We want to finish in the top four, we want a home final, that's the goal," said Rufer.
"But now we're pushing onto [Melbourne] Victory and hopefully we can catch up to them and put pressure on them."
Phoenix head into the international break full of confidence having tallied 11 goals in two games following the win over the Wanderers and Round 21's 8-2 hammering of Central Coast Mariners.
It's why Rufer believes Rudan will have a few selection conundrums when the Hyundai A-League kicks back into gear for Round 23.
"There’s going to be a bit of a headache for Mark to choose the [team] next game and I think that’s really good because it shows that we have a really strong squad," Rufer said.
"Healthy competition keeps you on your toes, it’s always good knowing there’s people breathing down your neck for a spot and I think it just shows the type of team that we’ve got this year."