Opportunity beckons for talented Wilson

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Despite being one of Australia’s most talented young midfielders, a strong first team and a troubled season off the field has seen Brandon Wilson seek opportunity at Wellington Phoenix to reinvigorate his career.

After a youth career at Burnley and a loan stint at Stockport County, Wilson found himself back in Western Australia at the Glory where he played sporadically throughout his four years at the club.

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His ability as a rotation midfielder and even as a make-shift right-back in the club’s first premiership plate season was very much appreciated, but aside from an hour as the right-wing-back in the opening round against Brisbane Roar he has not seen a single minute in the 2019-20 season.

A team standards discretion on an Australian Under 23’s tour in November saw him banned from national duty.

Across the ditch, Wellington are one of the league’s most in form clubs. Eight games unbeaten have shot them up into the top four, but an extra hand in midfield may send them further up the table.

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Under former midfielder and new manager Ufuk Talay, Phoenix have employed two different midfield setups inside the last month.

The 4-2-3-1 formation that saw them take a point against Melbourne Victory and a win over Adelaide United involved Ville Matti Steinmann and Cam Devlin sitting in behind Ulises Davila, who can play as a number ten.

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The other, a more traditional 4-4-2, has been used in the last fortnight. The versatile Wilson will comfortably fill any of the central roles required of him in either Phoenix formation, and has proved himself a solid contributor as a temporary full-back.

His former midfield, which featured Neil Kilkenny and Juande have rarely deviated from the 3-4-3 formation that won them the premiership and the longevity of the aforementioned pair meant that opportunities were scarce.

While Wellington’s midfield has also been steady this season (Steinmann has played all 12 game and Devlin and Alex Rufer have each played 8), Wilson’s positional versatility could earn him a spot in the match day squad right from the start.

In a statement on the club’s website, Talay spoke of the value Wilson will bring to his side’s midfield.

“Brandon is a valuable player in that he can cover multiple positions – which is great in this league, and it gives us added depth to the squad,” he said.

“Brandon brings us both stability and versatility for this season, and it also fits well with us looking long term to bring talented young players to the club.”

Making the move to New Zealand even more comfortable is the fact that Talay and Wilson have worked together in the youth international set up previously, assisting with the stability that Talay has drafted him in for.

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The mutual termination of his contract was a final sign that their wasn’t an immediate future for Brandon Wilson at his home club, but there is certainly a future for him in the league – one that starts with a pursuit of finals football at Phoenix.

Feature Image Credit: Wellington Phoenix

 

 

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