Mark Rudan. (Photo by Jeremy Ng/Getty Images)
Mark Rudan. (Photo by Jeremy Ng/Getty Images)

Phoenix snap up ex-Sydney FC skipper as new coach

WELLINGTON Phoenix has announced former Sydney FC captain Mark Rudan as its new coach.

On Tuesday, the A-League club announced it has signed Rudan, who was most recently the senior coach of NSW NPL side Sydney United, on a two-year contract.

"I would like to place on record my thanks to the Wellington Phoenix board for giving me this opportunity," Rudan said in a statement.

"The Phoenix have a reputation for giving young Australian and New Zealand footballers their first starts in the A-League and now as a coach I have my first A-League opportunity."

Rudan made a name for himself in Australian football in both the NSL and A-League.

The centre-back played for Sydney United and Northern Spirit, while he also played in Germany, Japan, China, Malaysia and Switzerland.

He then captained Sydney FC to the A-League championship in 2006, and had a stint at Adelaide United in 2010.

Mark Rudan. pic Mark Evans
Mark Rudan. pic Mark Evans

Rudan then went on to manage NSW NPL club Rockdale City Suns from 2011 to 2012, before returning to Sydney United in 2013.

He coached Sydney United from 2013 to 2017, while he was also an assistant coach for the Young Socceroos in 2016.

Rudan said the Phoenix's existing combination of youth and experience made the squad exciting, while the club had funding for overseas

"There is huge potential at the Phoenix," Rudan said.

"Already signed for the squad is a core group of experienced A-League players as well as some of the most exciting talents in the A-League and we have the funding for some quality visa players ready to go.

"The club has organised a great off-season with games in Asia and Australia already booked in. I couldn't be more excited about the season ahead."

The Phoenix endured a tumultuous 2017/18 season, with coach Darije Kalezic failing to last the season.

Kalezic joined the club ahead of the 2017/18 season, with Rado Vidosic his high-profile assistant and Dario Vidosic and Gui Finkler among the club's big names.

But in December, Finkler departed the club, with both Rado and Dario Vidosic quitting later that month.

The Phoenix parted ways with Kalezic in March, with Chris Greenacre deputising for the final rounds of last season.



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