Signing news: Wellington Phoenix snap up New Zealand No.1

Wellington Phoenix have signed New Zealand international goalkeeper  Stefan Marinović on a two-year contract.

The 27-year old joins from English Football League Championship side Bristol City.

The All Whites’ first-choice gloveman was born in Auckland and began his career at Auckland City before making 100 league appearances in Germany with SV Wehen Wiesbaden, FC Ismaning, 860 Munich Reserves and SpVgg Unterhaching.

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In March 2015, Marinović was called up by then All Whites Coach Anthony Hudson to appear in a friendly against Korea Republic and has gone on to make 24 appearances for the national side.

After an impressive display for New Zealand at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, Marinović joined Canadian club Vancouver Whitecaps in the MLS before being snapped up by Bristol City in the EFL Championship for the 2018/19 season.

Marinovic signs for Wellington Phoenix
Marinovic broke through for the Kiwis at the 2017 Confederations Cup, including this match against Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal

Marinović is excited to make a return to his homeland and is looking forward to a new challenge under Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay.

"I’ve always wanted to return back to New Zealand to play at some point," he said.

"My family, especially my Dad, is really happy that I’m coming home as I’ve been away for 10 years so the opportunity to play back on home soil and see my family more often gives me more of a drive.

The club has had an extremely impressive campaign and I’m looking forward to being a part of the group that hopes to surpass that next season."

Head coach Ufuk Talay is happy to have landed the Kiwi international gloveman. 

"I’m delighted to have signed a number one goalkeeper that brings a lot of experience into the team," he said. 

"For us, he’ll be an exceptional leader inside the box and a great shot stopper as part of our backline.

"To have Stefan’s international pedigree will further add to our number of talented homegrown players within the club.

"With the benefit of experienced goalkeeping coach Paul Gothard, Stefan will add to the quality of competition amongst the goalkeepers in Oli Sail and Zac Jones."

Marinović will link up with his new teammates when pre-season commences in July.