Yan Sasse’s zero to hero moment as Phoenix import finds his feet

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Last time Wellington Phoenix and Adelaide United met, Yan Sasse was sent off 25 minutes into his A-League Men debut. Not the best way to start your life in the competition…

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The opening game of the A-League Men season feels like it was a long time ago though for  Sasse. 

The Brazilian netted his side’s second goal in their 3-1 win over Adelaide United on Saturday with Nix coach Ufuk Talay wanting such consistency in Sasse’s performances. 

“We are trying to build some consistency into Yan’s [Sasse] game, the more he plays, the better he will get,” Talay said.

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So was Sasse consistent? The answer is yes! 

He has started three A-League Men games so far, with the other three coming as substitute appearances. He picked up a two game suspension after the first Adelaide game, so he missed the draw against Central Coast Mariners and the loss to Newcastle Jets in Round 2 and 3, therefore they aren’t counted. 

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Sasse’s goal was his first of the season and the first time he has contributed to a goal this season, therefore you could argue that he hasn’t been consistent. Wrong! 

When he has played, he has looked dangerous. He has been creative, always scanning for the first pass and always looking to attack the oncoming defender. He also adds a bit of Brazilian flair to the Nix attack that we have come to have seen from Brazilian players. 

Talay recalls looking through several hours of footage in pre-season when it came to signing import players for the 2022/23 season with Sasse included in that. 

“We work on a salary cap and we work on a budget in certain positions, for us it’s important that the player we bring in is the right player,” Talay said. 

Sasse joined Wellington Phoenix from Brazilian side América-MG on a free transfer in August 2022 and therefore didn’t cost the Phoenix anything apart from his weekly salary. 

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Is Sasse the right player for the Nix? Of course he is! His style and his passion for the game cannot be matched. Seeing his disappointment when he got sent off, striker Ben Waine walked in at half-time to see Sasse in tears, shows the Brazilian’s love for the game. 

While his goal may have come from a deflection, it was a great strike from the Brazilian to hit the ball hard into the defender which was enough to slow the ball down to deflect it past Adelaide keeper Joe Gauci who already committed to Sasse’s shot. 

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This game will be the start of Sasse’s consistency that Talay wants to get out of him and their trip to the struggling Perth Glory next Saturday presents Sasse with a great chance to show everyone what he can do week in, week out.  

Featured image credit: Photomac 

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Nick Jensen
Nick Jensen
Journalism Student at Massey University Wellington and a passionate Football Fan, covering the Wellington Phoenix Men and Women for the 2022/23 season.

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