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'Important to have the local boys' - New Phoenix manager promising chances for Kiwi talent


New Wellington Phoenix manager Ufuk Talay is intending to harness the best Kiwi talent available to build his squad, leading into the new A-League season.

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Ufuk Talay wants to build his squad around NZ's best and brightest prospects. Source: 1 NEWS

Tasked with rebuilding the Phoenix, with the majority of last season's squad out the door, Talay's first few signings in his new role have a distinctly local feel, with striker Callum McCowatt and goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic among those to sign on.

Speaking to 1 NEWS today, Talay made it clear that local players will have a huge role in his side ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.

"For me, it's very important to have the local boys playing," Talay said.

"As you've seen with Sarpreet [Singh] getting an opportunity to maybe go over to Europe, this is a pathway for our young Kiwis."

Talay outlined that as the manager of New Zealand's only fully professional side, it is his responsibility to ensure opportunities for young Kiwi players under his watch.

"I'd like to have a squad full of Kiwi boys, and bring some imports that help them grow. Not just results-wise, but grow as individuals within the team as well."