Signing news: Talay adds ex-Premier League striker Hooper to Phoenix attack

Wellington Phoenix look to have found their replacement for star striker Roy Krishna, signing former Celtic and Norwich City star Gary Hooper.

In a huge boost for the Phoenix, the 31-year-old was unveiled by the club on Thursday after signing a one-year deal.

While the Hyundai A-League transfer window officially closed on Tuesday night, Phoenix were able to secure Hooper due to the fact he was a free agent.

"I’m happy to be here in Wellington," Hooper told the club's official website.

"It’s a new challenge for me and I’m really excited about being part of the Wellington Phoenix club."

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Phoenix have been on the lookout for a prolific striker ever since the club lost record goal-scorer and Johnny Warren Medalist Roy Krishna at the end of last season.

And Hooper certainly has the resume to fill the Fijian’s boots, scoring regularly throughout his career.

It was at Scottish giants Celtic where the Harlow-born forward made his name, scoring 63 goals in 95 appearances in three seasons in Glasgow.

He moved to Norwich City and played in the Premier League with the Canaries, where he scored 18 goals in 64 matches, before moving on the Championship club Sheffield Wednesday.

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Hooper scored 43 goals in 82 games for the in an injury-plagued time at the Owls, before he was released at the end of last season.

It was reported that Hooper was to sign with Esteghlal in Iran, before the move fell through last week, allowing the Phoenix to swoop.

“It’s been no secret that we’ve been searching incredibly hard for a striker this season and we’re extremely pleased to sign someone of the highest calibre in Gary Hooper," Phoenix General Manager David Dome said.


“His CV is on paper arguably the most impressive of any Wellington Phoenix player to date and I have no doubt he’ll contribute.

"I’m sure that football fans across New Zealand and Australia will be thrilled to see a player like Gary in action for Wellington.

"The quality of player Gary is shows the intent of the club – the owners and Board are determined to be competitive and contribute positively on and off the field to the new Hyundai A-League in  season 2019/20."

Hooper, who will wear no.88 for the club, won’t make the trip for Sunday’s clash with Sydney FC, with his debut likely to come the following week at home against Perth Glory.

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Phoenix will hope Gary Hooper will be the perfect replacement for Roy Krishna
Phoenix will hope Gary Hooper will be the perfect replacement for Roy Krishna