Ghanaian player Appiah eager to make an impact at Australian side Phoenix

Former Western Sydney Wanderers winger Kwabena Appiah will have to wait a little longer to complete his A-League reinvention at the Wellington Phoenix.

The New Zealand-born 22-year-old, who left the Wanderers by mutual consent last month, signed a week ago with Phoenix until the end of next season.

Appiah has impressed on the training field since, but coach Ernie Merrick isn’t rushing him into Phoenix’s match-day squad.

Instead, Appiah will play half a game for Wellington’s reserves in its match against Hawke’s Bay United on Saturday as Merrick looks to ease his transition into his new club.

Merrick says his arrival at Phoenix has been well timed.

“We’re very happy with him. He’s got tremendous pace, he cuts inside, he cuts outside, he’s a good dribbler, a good one-on-one, and he’s really fit.

“At this time of the year, to have someone fresh like that, is such a good thing.”

Appiah says he’s looking forward to making his mark in Wellington, with Merrick’s coaching and Phoenix’s style of play a major attraction.

“What Ernie’s doing here is fantastic and something I want to be part of,” he said.

“They’ve got me playing a certain position, a bit more attacking than what I was doing before. There’s a bit more free licence, and I’m looking forward to it.”

Appiah’s ambitions at Phoenix are simple.
“I’ve got an attacking mindset and I love to showboat a little.

“I want to start pinging in the goals. I’ve got self belief and great confidence, and I’ve got a great coach behind me who’s going to back me to score the type of goals I want to.”

Born in Auckland of Ghanaian parents, Appiah moved to Australia as a six-year-old but isn’t ruling out the possibility of playing for the All Whites.

And he says the best way of catching New Zealand coach Anthony Hudson’s eye will be by scoring goals at Wellington Phoenix.

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