Team Wellington are pleased to announce the return of number one goalkeeper, Scott Basalaj and welcome new signing Keegan Smith ahead of the 2019/20 ISPS Handa Premiership season.
Basalaj first joined Team Wellington during the 2010/11 season and has gone on to play over 100 games for the club becoming an instrumental member of the squad over the years.
The 25-year old, Wellington born keeper has also represented New Zealand at age group level playing for both the U-17 and U-20 sides.
Basalaj is excited for another season with his local club and has his eye firmly set on achieving success this year.
“We’re focused on winning both the minor and playoff premierships – something we haven’t done as a club yet.
“We know we’re capable of achieving this kind of success and if we can develop some of our younger players in to solid national league players too, that will be a huge win for the club and the Wellington region,” Basalaj said.
For Basalaj, the relationship with new signing Smith is important but an easy transition aided by goalkeeping coach, Steve Dimakis.
“Steve and I have a fantastic relationship both on and off the field which has only strengthened over the last few years.
“We have a solid GK union each season and we’re delighted to have Keegan join the squad.
“Keegan and I have spent some time together playing through the winter and we’re both excited to push and learn from each other as we progress through the season.”
For Auckland-born Smith, the opportunity to return to the capital and sign for Team Wellington was a decision that made sense.
“Team Wellington has been one of the best teams in the country for the past few years so it makes sense to continue my development here.
“The environment is the closest thing in the league to a professional set-up so it was an easy decision to make and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve as a team this year,” Smith said.
While Smith is confident his new side can challenge for the title, the 20-year old has his own goals he’s striving for.
“Personally, getting regular game time throughout the season is important for me.
“I like to play with the ball at my feet to help the team build from the back and of course, my number one priority is to keep the ball out of the net.”
Team Wellington Goalkeeping Coach, Steve Dimakis is looking forward to the season ahead and is excited by his keepers abilities.
“It’s brilliant to have Scotty back again for another season and Keegan is an outstanding addition to our squad,” Dimakis said.
“Scott is a top class keeper who is fantastic to work with and a great leader in the squad.
“Although Keegan is new in to the team this year, he has settled quickly and brings some strong qualities that will help push his teammates around him.
“I’m really looking forward to working with them both this season.”
Both Basalaj and Smith have been training with the team and we could see either of them in the next pre-season friendly against Wellington Phoenix on October 6th.