Rojas to leave Phoenix

Wellington Phoenix chief executive Nathan Greenham admits the club are disappointed rising star Marco Rojas has decided to leave the club.

Wellington Phoenix chief executive Nathan Greenham admits the club are disappointed rising star Marco Rojas has decided to leave the club.

The 19-year-old has emerged as one of the best raw talents New Zealand has produced in recent years, but after 21 appearances for the Wellington side, he will head across the Tasman when his current deals runs out at the end of March.

"We're absolutely 100 percent disappointed," Greenham said. "Towards the tail-end of last week Marco told us that he wouldn't be moving forward with his contract after March 31."

"I am a little bit surprised (by his decision). But the longer (the negotiations) went on the less certain we became about Marco's intention to stay with the club."

Rojas joined the Phoenix in 2009 after winning a scholarship from the club's supporters group Yellow Fever and Greenham had hoped loyalty would play a part keeping him in Wellington as they believed money had not been an issue.

"It's always a combination of things that make up these decisions but suffice to say, one of the main criteria is the financial one and we made Marco a very good offer," Greenham said.

"We thought there was a lot we could offer as a club and a lot we could offer to Marco in his development and we were hoping to see him run out in the yellow and black stripes next year."

Rojas is the second young player to have turned their back on the Phoenix after Kosta Barbarouses joined Brisbane Roar and flourished there this season.

But Greenham said life would go on at the club without Rojas and that recruitment remained on-going.

"I can confidently say that we will be making an announcement in the next couple of weeks for a least one player that has been in our sights," he said.

"We have to make plans as a club that aren't necessarily based on the whims of players and where they may or may not be going. There are plans in place that will complete our roster sooner rather than later."

With the core of the squad already re-signed, Danny Vukovic off to Perth and Troy Hearfield heading to Central Coast, the Phoenix are still awaiting a decision from Nick Ward about whether he will remain in Wellington.

"In Nicky's situation there is no immediacy or urgency to go ahead and put any pressure on to sign but he would be another useful acquisition for this season and beyond," Greenham said.