20 Jun 2013

New Phoenix coach makes his first signing

6:08 am on 20 June 2013

The new Wellington Phoenix football coach Ernie Merrick has made his first signing with former Perth Glory goalkeeper Lewis Italiano joining the club on a one-year contract.

The 22-year-old Italiano is currently playing for the Oakleigh Cannons in the Victoria Premier League and won't arrive in Wellington until September.

Merrick says Italiano is likely to play the club's opening game against the Brisbane Roar with first choice keeper Glen Moss likely to be on international duty with the All Whites.

Merrick says he's confident Italiano, who was understudy to Danny Vukovic at Perth for the past two seasons, would be a valuable acquisition, with Phoenix goalkeeping coach Jonathan Gould having worked with him at Perth.