30 Nov 2020

Phoenix sign former Premier League striker

2:30 pm on 30 November 2020

The Wellington Phoenix have signed Israeli international striker Tomer Hemed, as their marquee player for the upcoming A League football season.

Hemed, 33, joins the Phoenix from the UK, where he played last season with Charlton Athletic in the English Championship.

He played 16 games for Brighton and Hove Albion in the premier league in the 2017-18 season and had three years in the La Liga in Spain with Mallorca and Almeria.

His career began with Maccabi Haifa, joining their first team in 2005 and spending six seasons in the Israel Premier League.

Hemed is also a current member of the Israeli National Team, having scored 17 goals in 37 appearances with the national side since 2011.

Wellington Phoenix Head Coach, Ufuk Talay said that Hemed is an exciting signing that meets a specific need for the club this season.

"Tomer is a highly skilled player with a pedigree as a goal scorer and creator," said Talay.

Wellington Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay,

Ufuk Talay Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"It's no secret the club was looking to improve its frontline with an experienced visa player, and Tomer provides.... someone who can convert our chances on goal and distribute to others," said Talay.

Hemed said after last season he sat down with his family and discussed what next for his career.

"I've played in La Liga, the Premier League, Championship and fulfilled a lot of my career goals, but we thought it was time to do something more exciting, something special."

"I've used my physicality playing in England, and it was a very tough competition to play in; but I know I've done it well so I have confidence [to replicate it] in any other league in the world."

Tomer is currently in quarantine for two weeks in Australia before joining his teammates at training, and will be joined later by his wife Shunit and their three children.

The Phoenix open their A League season on December 29th against Brisbane.