Shock departure of Phoenix skipper Steven Taylor

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Phoenix captain Steven Taylor have surprisingly parted ways with two years still to run on his contract.

Wellington Phoenix captain Steven Taylor.

Steven Taylor is leaving the Phoenix still with two years to run on his contract. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The 34-year-old Taylor joined the Phoenix in July 2018, following a 14 year career career for Newcastle United in the English Premier League and subsequent stops in the MLS and League One.

In January he signed a contract extension taking him through to the end of the 2021-22 season but a club statement says the Phoenix and Taylor have “mutually agreed to part ways.”

Taylor made 49 appearances in his two seasons with the club and after being named captain this past season, played in all 27 games leading them into the playoffs.

Taylor said “it’s with a heavy heart that I am saying goodbye to the Nix” but didn’t explain the sudden departure.

Phoenix Coach Ufuk Talay said that Taylor’s will to win is one of his greatest attributes.

“Steven was the right choice for us as captain, he’s an experienced leader who not only says the right things but leads by example too.

“He put his imprint on the team this past season and helped to create a positive, winning culture for the players – it’ll now be up to our next captain to continue that great work and to build on the third-place finish we achieved last season.

“We thank Steven for his incredible contribution to this club these past two seasons; for his hard work on the field, his mentoring of the younger players and the positive way he engaged with the fans – no doubt he’s a classy player and we wish him all the best.”

-RNZ

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