How Rudan plans to reshape Phoenix into Finals Series force

Mark Rudan has declared Wellington Phoenix's recruitment wiggle room will only be used for players who share his "bare minimum" ambition of reaching the top six.

Former Sydney FC captain Rudan was announced as Phoenix's new head coach on Wednesday after inking a two-year deal with the Kiwi outfit.

The highly-rated 42-year-old faces a tough task in his maiden Hyundai A-League appointment as he seeks to lead the club to a first Finals Series berth since 2015.

READ: Rudan named new Phoenix coach

He'll be forced to build from the bottom with just 11 players currently signed for next season.

But rather than be daunted by the prospect of a threadbare squad, Rudan is relishing the chance to mould a group that will not settle for anything less than the top six.

"I've got the ability to bring in at least 10 players to this football club which makes it easier," Rudan told reporters.

"I can imagine the phone is going to go off with all different sorts of people selling their players.

Mark Rudan
Mark Rudan has a new home at Westpac Stadium.

"But that process has already started.

"Whether we use up all five [foreign sports] I'll determine that, but certainly that's appealing. I understand how important it is to get those signings right.

"I'll be working 24/7 to get the right people and the right footballers at this club."

Central to Rudan's recruitment plans is a desire to unearth the best talent New Zealand has to offer.

READ: All you need to know about new Phoenix coach Mark Rudan

The two-time NPL Finals Series-winning coach says he is dedicated to developing young talent and plans to mine the local scene for unknown gems.

"I understand what this club is about and the landscape," he said.

"The club has heavily invested in academies in Auckland and Wellington and it would be remiss of me not to look into that.

"There has got to be a couple of rough diamonds in New Zealand football. I'm a big believer in the New Zealand product. They need an opportunity.

"They also have to understand, particularly the young ones, you have to earn your stripes if you want to work in this environment."