Phoenix not chasing NZ legend Reid for A-L

As they prepare for another A-League season on the road, Wellington Phoenix aren’t looking to bolster their stocks with out-of-contract All Whites legend Winston Reid.

The 33-year-old defender was released by English Premier League club West Ham after more than a decade of service this week.

While Reid hadn’t played in the Premier League for three years, he was loaned to second-tier Brentford last season, helping the upstarts achieve promotion.

On Friday, Nix coach Ufuk Talay said the Aucklander wasn’t on his shopping list.

“We know where we sit in the football landscape. We’re not Barcelona or Real Madrid where we buy all the best players,” he said.

“We’ve got a few of the academy boys training with us … we try to promote from within.”

The release of the rescheduled A-League draw on Thursday showed Wellington have another taxing season ahead.

With border rules preventing games at Sky Stadium in the short term, the Nix will begin with six matches in NSW.

Their first assignment is against Ante Milicic’s Macarthur, which poached Nix playmaker Ulises Davila from the Nix’ grasp in the off-season.

“Ante has brought some good players in, one of the Johnny Warren Medal winners has gone there who previously played for a very good club,” Talay said.

“You want to play against good opponents and I’m hoping that round one will be a great game for us.”

Last season, Wellington were based out of Wollongong but the club is yet to confirm a NSW base for the opening rounds of the season.

They are hoping to play home games in New Zealand for the balance of the season, though that decision is out of their hands.

Talay’s side will relocate to Australia at the end of October, when Australian midfielder Reno Piscopo will join the squad.

They have also signed Italy-based midfielder Nicholas Pennington, but are yet to confirm a plan to integrate him due to border rules.

While not closed to further signings, the balance of Wellington’s squad will come from their academy with a squad to be confirmed next month prior to travel.

After two disrupted seasons due to COVID-19, the challenges are nothing new to Talay’s road warriors.

Talay said the Nix were investigating routes to reaching NSW without quarantining and would await instruction on whether it was possible.

“I think this team and this club have done (quarantining) enough times that we don’t want to really do it again,” Talay said.