Experienced Phoenix duo moving on

Written by admin on 07/30/2019 Categories: 苏州美睫

Leo Bertos and Stein Huysegems are leaving Wellington Phoenix, as the A-League club begins planning for next year.


Wellington ended their season by being comprehensively beaten 4-1 by Melbourne Victory at Westpac Stadium on Saturday, finishing ninth on the league ladder in a see-saw season hit hard by injuries and suspensions.

Bertos, 32, joined the club in 2008 and has played 127 times but has had an injury-interrupted season this year.

Huysegems, a former Belgian international, has been with the club for the past two seasons and was its leading scorer this season with 10 goals.

Coach Ernie Merrick paid tribute to the pair, saying both had made important contributions to the club.

“Leo is a Wellington, Phoenix and New Zealand footballing legend,” Merrick said.

The year had been a tough one for him as he struggled with injury even before the season began.

“It meant he never got to the levels of fitness he is used to as he has always been an extremely fit player.

“It is a great regret that he is leaving, but if he continues playing I know he will do well because one of the most important parts of his make-up is that he never gives you less than 100 per cent.”

Merrick described 31-year-old Huysegems as the ultimate professional.

“Despite his experience he is always willing to learn, and he worked hard to fit into the style of football we wanted to play.

“It’s sad to see him go but that is the nature of football. He has been a pleasure to work with and I’m sure he will continue to score goals wherever he goes, just hopefully not against us…”

It is unclear at this stage where, if anywhere, Bartos and Huysegems will be going.

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