Phoenix offer Burgess deal after trial

11 October 2018 08:11:21 EST

Wellington still need to sign at least three players for the start of the A-League season, after bringing in forward Max Burgess.

The Phoenix are short of the minimum number required under league rules before they face Newcastle Jets in their season-opener on 21st October.

They have handed 23-year-old Burgess another chance in the A-League after he spent last season with Sydney Olympic in the NSW National Premier League.

He was a youth team player with Sydney FC and made his A-League debut in the opening round of the 2014-15 season but that proved to be his only senior appearance.

Burgess had a spell with Newcastle Jets as an injury replacement player, and has had two separate stints with Sydney Olympic - last season he netted seven goals in 23 games for them.

With Olympic he played against Mark Rudan's Sydney United side and the coach saw him in action again in a pre-season outing against Wellington.

He opted to bring him in for a trial and he played in a friendly against Sydney FC late last month.

''He has tasted A-League experience before but I feel that he has plenty more to show," said Rudan. ''We have the perfect environment for him to develop and show that true potential he holds."

The 23-year-old's signing takes the the Phoenix's squad to 17, as they have parted company with goalkeeper Keegan Smith.

Smith played the first six games of last season under Darije Kalezic but didn't feature again after that and has moved to Tasman United of the ISPS Handa Premiership League.

Rudan signed Polish keeper Filip Kurto from Dutch outfit Roda JC during the off-season and he will vie with 22-year-old Oliver Sail for the starting jersey.

Wellington are 40/1 to win the Grand Final.

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