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 By AAP

Steven Taylor joins Wellington Phoenix from Peterborough United

Wellington Phoenix coach Mark Rudan has made a statement of intent by luring one-time Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor to the A-League club.

A veteran of 194 English Premier League appearances, Taylor brings a wealth of experience and professionalism to the Phoenix.

The 32-year-old is Rudan's first player-signing since being unveiled as coach six weeks ago, following through with a promise to set his sights high with player recruitment.

"Steven is a significant signing for the football club in what we are trying to create," Rudan said.

"He brings a huge amount of experience and strong leadership. We expect Steven to be a success on and off the park."

A former England under-21 captain, Taylor never played at senior level for his country. However, he did make one appearance for England B.

He enjoyed a career with Newcastle United from 2003-2016, with all but one of them being in the EPL where he forged a reputation as an industrious and reliable defender.

Taylor had brief stints with Major League Soccer club Portland Timbers and English Championship club Ipswich Town before joining Peterborough United in the third-tier English Football League.

The central defender played against the Phoenix in 2014 when Newcastle played pre-season matches in Dunedin and Wellington.

"As soon as I was aware of the interest, I knew it was an opportunity that I couldn't pass up," Taylor said.

"I know that I am joining an exciting project under Mark as well as playing in one of the best leagues in the world in the A-League."

Taylor will begin training this week with his debut likely to be against Bentleigh Greens in their first round FFA Cup match in Melbourne next month.

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