Krishna becomes NZ citizen giving Phoenix another import slot

Wellington Phoenix striker Roy Krishna has gained New Zealand citizenship in a move that will give club coach Mark Rudan more flexibility with his squad.

The Fiji-born striker became a New Zealand citizen at a Wellington ceremony on Thursday, 10 years after arriving in the country.

Krishna, who has played 101 matches for the Phoenix, is the club’s all-time leading scorer, with 34 goals.

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He previously played as an import but this development frees up a spot for Rudan should he wish to bolster his squad.

With the Phoenix allowed to sign five Visa players, Rudan can now add to his international group that includes Steven Taylor (England), Mandi (Spain), Filip Kurto and Michael Kopczynski (both Poland).

Krishna spoke on Wednesday of his respect for Rudan and the Phoenix after breaking the club’s goals record with a strike in Wellington’s 1-1 draw with Hyundai A-League table-toppers Perth Glory on Sunday.

The Phoenix, who sit ninth on the Hyundai A-League table, visit Sydney FC on Saturday.