1 Nov 2010

All White signs temporary deal with Phoenix

3:06 pm on 1 November 2010

New Zealand's World Cup star Simon Elliott is raring to return to professional club football after signing with the Wellington Phoenix.

The vastly experienced international midfielder, one of the All Whites' standouts at the World Cup, was born and raised in Wellington and joins the Phoenix as an injury replacement player for Oscar Roberto "Toto" Cornejo.

Pending international transfer clearance, Elliott will be eligible to make his debut for the Phoenix in their A-League match against the Brisbane Roar at Westpac Stadium this Wednesday night.

Former Fulham player Elliott has been without a club since leaving American Major League Soccer club San Jose Earthquakes following the 2009 season, despite starring for the All Whites at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

The 36-year-old says it's nice to be back in Wellington, it's a short stint but it's exciting to be back and part of what's going on at the Phoenix.

Elliott's addition is a coup for the club but could cause some selection problems for coach Ricki Herbert in the central midfield with All White Tim Brown and Australian Nick Ward already on the club's books.

Born and raised in Wellington, Elliott has been based in Los Angeles, where his fiancee is studying to be a doctor.

Elliott has spent much of his professional career in the United States' MLS, playing 122 games for the LA Galaxy from 1999-2003, 59 games for Columbus Crew from 2004-05 and 15 games for San Jose in 2009.

In between his two stints in the MLS, Elliott spent two seasons with English Premier League club Fulham from 2006-08.

Elliott's long club career, along with 68 internationals to his credit, means he brings exceptional experience to the Phoenix.

Elliott will hook up with several of his All Whites teammates at the Phoenix. Tim Brown, Ben Sigmund, Leo Bertos, Tony Lochhead and Mark Paston were in the New Zealand squad in South Africa, with Phoenix head coach Ricki Herbert also in charge of the All Whites.