Wellington for Warner

Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert has opted for experience over youth and signed former Fulham and Millwall goalkeeper Tony Warner.

Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert has opted for experience over youth and signed former Fulham and Millwall goalkeeper Tony Warner.

The 37-year-old, who started out as a trainee with Liverpool in 1990 and spent nine years at the English Premier League club, was recently linked with a move to Blackburn Rovers after a spell with League One club Tranmere Rovers ended in June.

While Warner never made a first team appearance for Liverpool he went on to have successful spells at Millwall, where he made more than 200 appearances between 1999-and 2004, and Fulham (2005-08) before having loan spells at lower league clubs in England, including Leeds United, Norwich City and Barnsley.

"He's got a lot of experience. He's 37 but it's something I want," Herbert told Sportal.

"I think he will do a great job for us. He's got premier league experience," added the coach who expects Warner to challenge All Whites goalkeeper Mark Paston for the No.1 shirt.

"The last two seasons Mark has unfortunately hit a speed bump with injuries and stuff like that."

"I think we just needed to be reassured that we had somebody who could step straight in."

"He's very similar (to Mark). He's 6ft 4in so you are going to get great presence and a great distributer of the ball."

"He had a long time at Liverpool without playing but he jumped in and played at Fulham. He's played at the highest level. I'm really excited. For someone of that experience to come here and want to come here is terrific for us."

Warner will travel with the squad to Dunedin for their pre-season match against Brisbane Roar on Saturday.