Wellington Phoenix have announced the acquisition of English forward Gary Hooper on a one-year deal, bringing a wealth of experience to both the Phoenix and the A-League.

The 31-year-old essentially replaces Roy Krishna, who departed the club at the end of last season, finishing as Johnny Warren Medallist.

Hooper has previously turned out for the likes of Celtic, Norwich City and Sheffield Wednesday, and could be the missing ingredient in the Phoenix’s attack.

During his time at Celtic, Hooper scored 63 goals in 95 league appearances, and netted twice in seven appearances in the UEFA Champions League.

He was released by Sheffield Wednesday at the conclusion of last season and was in talks with Iranian club Esteghlal, however instead has become the newest addition to the A-League.

Hooper joins fellow English players David Ball and Steven Taylor at the Phoenix, with Taylor also bringing plenty of Premier League experience from his time at Newcastle United.

In addition, he adds to the list of big name signings new to the A-League this season, joining the likes of Panagiotis Kone, Alessandro Diamanti and Alexander Meier.

The new striker will not play in the Phoenix’s match against Sydney FC on Sunday, however is expected to feature the week after against Perth Glory.

He will wear the number 88, the same as he wore during his time at Celtic.

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Tim Sperliotis
tsperliotis@gmail.com