Football 2 years ago

Nathan Burns set to leave Phoenix

  • Nathan Burns set to leave Phoenix

Prolific striker Nathan Burns is poised to leave the Wellington Phoenix after agreeing to terms with J-League club FC Tokyo.

Burns will undergo a medical assessment with the club and Phoenix management say they have accepted the offer and are resigned to losing the 27-year-old Socceroos marksman one year into his two-year A-League deal.

General manager David Dome says the prospect of holding on to Burns slimmed considerably following a debut season in which he scored 13 goals, second-equal on the 2014-15 A-League season goal-scoring list.

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"We expected this to happen given the season Nathan had with us," Dome said.

"It became even more likely when he won the Johnny Warren medal for the best player in the A-League."

Dome said Phoenix coach had prepared for Burns' departure and had been looking at striker alternatives for some time.

"Nathan has been terrific for the Phoenix and we wish him well for the future."

Burns' Phoenix stint injected life into a career which had stuttered in stints in Greece and Korea after shining for Adelaide United and at Australian age group level as a teenager.

Burns was the fastest player to reach 10 goals in an A-League season and became the first player to net a hat-trick in Phoenix club history, against Melbourne City in November.

He was crowned club player of the year in May.

His goal-scoring exploits and electric pace resulted in a recall to the Socceroos squad for the Asian Cup hosted by Australia in January, five years after he previously represented his country.

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