Football: Former Wellington Phoenix captain Steven Taylor signs with Indian Odisha FC

Former Wellington Phoenix skipper Steven Taylor has signed a one-year deal with Indian club Odisha FC, after cutting short his stay in the A-League.

Earlier this week, the English defender shocked Phoenix fans, when he announced he was parting ways with the NZ-based outfit with two years remaining on his current contract.

On Thursday, Odisha confirmed Taylor was heading to the Indian Super League on a one-plus-one deal.

"Steven's credentials speak for themself, but more than that, we are bringing leadership qualities into our young squad," says Odisha head coach Stuart Baxter. "He is an exceptional defender and is a presence that will give the whole team a boost."

Taylor, 34, has previously played for Newcastle United in the English Premier League and Portland Timbers in US Major League Soccer, as well as representing his country at age-group and England B level.

He played 49 games for the Phoenix, leading them to third on the A-League table - the highest finish in their history - before a first-round exit in this year's playoffs.

"I am extremely delighted to join Odisha FC, and am hopeful that my experience and leadership qualities will be helpful for the team," says Taylor. 

"I am very happy to be working under Stuart once again and can't wait to meet all the young Indian lads. I hope I can help the lads push on and in turn egg the team on towards the playoff spots.

"I am looking forward to creating something special at Odisha FC, make no mistake about it."

Taylor became the latest to leave coach Ufuk Talay's Phoenix squad, after Liberato Cacace signed in Belgium, Callum McCowatt departed for Denmark and Gary Hooper also switched to the Indian competition.