North signs with Phoenix

Wellington Phoenix has completed its mandatory 20-man roster with the confirmation that Australian defender Jade North has signed for the 2010/11 Hyundai A-League season.

Wellington Phoenix has completed its mandatory 20-man roster with the confirmation that Australian defender Jade North has signed for the 2010/11 Hyundai A-League season.

The 28-year-old, with 28 caps for the Socceroos, was keen to leave Norwegian club Tromso and his arrival offsets the departure of Jon McKain to Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr last month.

North's move to the New Zealand capital will also see him renew his defensive partnership with former Newcastle Jets team-mate, Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante.

The pair was at the heart of the Jets' defence when they won the 2007/08 A-League.

Phoenix head coach Ricki Herbert was delighted to have North onboard.

"Jade's a proven performer at elite level, with almost 100 appearances in the Hyundai A-League," he said.

"He was outstanding for the Jets alongside Dura when they won the title a couple of seasons back and he'll fit in really well with the group we have here."

"Not only does he have a wealth of experience but he also brings significant leadership qualities to the club, having captained the Jets, and he's a great replacement for Jon McKain."

North's signing is the third this week for the Phoenix after Argentine playmaker Oscar Roberto Cornejo and young Australian striker Mirjan Pavlovic agreed terms.

Indonesian striker Bambang Pamungkas is also due in Wellington this weekend to begin a trial with Herbert indicating he may look to add the prolific forward to the group.

"We're fortunate in that we've retained the core of the squad from last season's great campaign and that we've been able to add some real talent and quality in key areas of the pitch from front the back," said Herbert.

"There's plenty of cause for optimism about our chances this season and we're looking forward to getting things under way."