Phoenix nab ex-Celtic keeper

Former Celtic goalkeeper Jonathan Gould has joined Wellington as an assistant coach to Ricki Herbert ahead of the upcoming Hyundai A-League season.

Former Celtic goalkeeper Jonathan Gould has joined Wellington as an assistant coach to Ricki Herbert ahead of the upcoming Hyundai A-League season.

Gould played more than 150 games in a seven-year stint at Celtic and represented Scotland on two occasions.

The 40-year-old has been in charge of New Zealand Football Championship side Hawke's Bay United since 2006 and is looking forward to returning to a fully professional environment in a coaching capacity with the Phoenix.

“I-m absolutely thrilled to be joining Ricki and the staff at the Phoenix. I-m grateful that Ricki and (chief executive) Tony Pignata saw enough value in my experience as a player and coach to warrant being part of the set-up,” he said.

“My role will be to support the management by providing an environment to take this team to the next level. We need to encourage a winning mentality both on and off the park. If we do that as a group then this will be a great season for the Phoenix.”

Gould and fellow assistant coach Luciano Trani completes Wellington's three-man coaching team and Pignata is delighted with the acquisition of the experienced shot-stopper.

“We had huge interest in the position from throughout New Zealand, Australia and Europe but Jonathan was clearly the sort of person we wanted in the job," he said.

"His goalkeeping experience will be invaluable - we-ve never had someone working fulltime with the keepers - and he-ll also be heavily involved in other coaching areas."

“He has top-flight playing experience and has proven his ability as a coach at Hawke-s Bay United. It-s also great to appoint someone from here in New Zealand. It goes to show that we have suitable and talented people in the coaching and playing areas right here in this country.”

Gould begins his new role on May 4 as the Phoenix step up their pre-season training.