New English forward David Ball brings experience to Wellington Phoenix

0
21
New English forward David Ball brings experience to Wellington Phoenix
New English forward David Ball brings experience to Wellington Phoenix


The Wellington Phoenix have signed veteran English forward David Ball from Rotherham United.

GETTY IMAGES

The Wellington Phoenix have signed veteran English forward David Ball from Rotherham United.

Wellington Phoenix have received a much-needed shot of experience.

The club has confirmed the signing of 29-year-old English striker David Ball, a player who faces the unenviable task of replacing last season’s Johnny Warren Medal and Golden Boot winner Roy Krishna.

Ball arrives in Wellington via Rotherham United, where he helped the club win promotion to the Championship before he was shipped out on loan to League One side Bradford City for the 2018-19 season.

He scored five goals in 35 games for Bradford — playing predominantly as an attacking midfielder— and eight goals in 34 games for Rotherham.

​READ MORE
Phoenix open door for trial players
Turkish delight for ex-All White
Sydney youngster joins Phoenix

Prior to that Ball spent five seasons with Fleetwood Town, scoring scored 41 goals in 179 goals.

WELLINGTON PHOENIX

Alex Rufer says former Phoenix team-mate Sarpreet Singh is loving his new surroundings at Bayern Munich.

“I had a number of options back home but I felt it was the right time for me,” said Ball, who consulted with Sydney FC striker Adam Le Fondre before signing a two-year contract.

“I’ve done League One for a number of years and gone into the Championship a couple of times with promotion, but I felt this was an opportunity, after speaking to the manager, to come and play for the team. Ultimately he wants to play the right way and get the best out of you as a player, so I felt it was a good opportunity for me and my career to do that.”

Although he is not the prolific scorer many Phoenix fans were hoping would replace Krishna, who bagged a club record 19 goals last season, Ball has been a consistent performer at a comparable level to the A-League throughout his professional career and brings some much-needed experience to a roster that prior to his signing boasted an average age of just 23.1.

While there is nothing about his CV to suggest he will light up the A-League, the Phoenix will be hoping the former Manchester City youth product can be consistent contributor who adds another creative dimension in the attacking third. 

“Hopefully I can bring goals, bring assists and I’ll bring character to the dressing room. With the younger ones I like to help them and get the best out of them because ultimately if I get the best out of them then that will help me out on the pitch. You’ll see, hopefully, the best of me,” he said.

“I’ll just play my natural game. I know if I do what I’m good at then goals will come. We’ve certainly got players at the club who can create them chances for me. I don’t see it as pressure, it’s something to go at that’s good and I enjoy taking that on.”

He can certainly hit a ball though. Ball was nominated for Fifa’s Puskas Award in 2015 after scoring a glorious chip from outside the box, the ball dinking the far post on the way in, while playing for Fleetwood Town. 

“The thing I liked about David was his versatility, last season he played a bit deeper as a second striker as well, which fits into our system and how we play and also I like that he comes from a competition where they have to be very robust as well,” coach Ufuk Talay said.

“He played a lot of games during that season and I think he’s good at going beyond as well, he can score goals with his feet and his head, which we need with how we want to play. Also, the information we got about his character as well, which is very important.”

The addition of Ball brings the total number of Phoenix players signed up to 16, although one of those is scholarship player Ben Waine, whose spot doesn’t count towards the 23-man limit, meaning they can sign a further eight players to the first team roster.



Source link