All you need to know about new Phoenix coach Mark Rudan

He's the man charged with trying to turn Wellington Phoenix's Hyundai A-League fortunes around.

Mark Rudan was appointed as the Phoenix's new head coach on Wednesday, handed a two-year deal in his first coaching job in the Hyundai A-League.

READ: Confirmed: Rudan named new Phoenix coach

A no-nonsense defender in his playing days, Rudan enjoyed a successful career as a player, making more than 350 senior appearances in Australia, Germany, China, Japan, Malaysia and Switzerland.

As well as cutting his teeth coach in the NSW NPL with Sydney United, where he won a couple of titles, Rudan has also worked as a pundit for Fox Sports after his playing days ended.

Here’s what you need to know about the new Wellington boss.


Known best as a player for his time with Sydney FC, Rudan led a well-travelled life as a player.

He began with Sydney United in the NSL back in 1993-94, before moving to Northern Spirit and then to German club Alemannia Aachen in 2000, where he made 15 appearances between 2000-2002.

Stints in Japan, a return to Sydney United and a season in Malaysia came afterwards for Rudan, who then returned to Australia once more to play for Sydney FC in their inaugural A-League season.

Mark Rudan

Rudan remained with the Sky Blues for three seasons, racking up 61 appearances and scoring six goals.

He left Sydney at the end of 2007 to play in Japan, this time for Avispa Fukuoka.

A stint at Swiss club FC Vaduz followed, before returning to the A-League to play for Adelaide United.

It would be his last season as a professional footballer, Rudan made 19 appearances in red before calling it a day at the end of the 2010-11 A-League season.


Rudan’s first coaching gig was for NPL NSW side Rockdale City Suns, whom he joined in 2011.

Two years later in 2013, Rudan made the switch to Sydney United 58, the club for which he played the most in his professional career.

It was a dream start at his old club – Rudan won the inaugural NPL NSW premiership in 2013 and went on to win the NPL Finals Series that year too. His efforts that year earned him the 2013 Coach of the Year award.

Mark Rudan at his press conference in Wellington on Wednesday.
Mark Rudan at his press conference in Wellington on Wednesday.

He repeated the feat in 2016, winning the league by nine points and edging out NPL NNSW side Edgeworth Eagles 4-1 to win the NPL Finals Series.

Rudan stepped down from his role with Sydney United 58 at the end of 2016 to take up an assistant manager role with the Australian under 20s side.

Rudan returned to Sydney United 58 in 2017 after just three games in the NPL NSW season.

He left at the conclusion of the season, with former Socceroo Jason Culina stepping into the role.


Rudan is perhaps most contemporarily known in wider Australian football circles for his punditry work on Fox Sports.

As a youngster, Rudan was a key cog in the 1995 Youth World Cup campaign.

He was vice-captain of the side that didn’t lose a match in qualifying and played three of the Young Socceroos’ four matches at the tournament proper.

Rudan was one of the inaugural names inducted into the Sydney FC Hall of Fame back in 2015.

He was affectionately known as the ‘Big Blue Man’ to the Sydney FC faithful.

Mark Rudan