The Wellington Phoenix has signalled its future intent by signing Carlos Hernandez on a two-year contract.
The former Melbourne Victory star, winner of the Johnny Warren Medal for best player in the Hyundai A-League in 2009-10, will join the Phoenix when his contract with Indian I-League club Prayag United ends in June.
The influential midfielder scored 40 goals in 138 games for the Victory and his creative talents will be a welcome boost for the Phoenix.
Hernandez, 30, is a player Phoenix head coach Ricki Herbert has coveted for some time, and the feeling was reciprocated from the moment Herbert contacted the player last month.
In the early conversations between the pair Hernandez made it plain he was keen on moving to Wellington.
“I’ve always had a good relationship with Carlos and from the first call I made to him our talks were positive,” Herbert said.
“Getting Carlos to Wellington is a massive signing for the Phoenix because everyone has seen the impact he made in the A-League.
“He is an exciting player who can make things very difficult for the opposition and is a dead ball specialist.
“It was important that when a player of Carlos’ ability became available that the club should try and get him here. It signals the direction the Club is taking and Carlos fits perfect with our strategy.
“The fact that he has been A-League player of the year says it all as that is voted on by his peers.
“I’m delighted Carlos has decided to continue his career with the Phoenix.”