Football: All Whites goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic leaving Wellington Phoenix

Wellington Phoenix have confirmed the departure of All Whites goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic, after his signing was announced by Israeli Premier League side Hapoel Nof HaGalil earlier this week.

Marinovic, 29, leaves the Phoenix after two seasons, making 33 appearances in net under coach Ufuk Talay.

But the international keeper found gametime hard to come by this season, after losing his starting spot to Oli Sail, as the Phoenix missed out on the A-League playoffs by one point.

Rather than stay and fight for his place as the Phoenix’s first choice, Marinovic will return overseas, after playing in Germany, England and Canada, before his stint in the A-League.

"Stef did a fantastic job for us," Talay says. "He was integral for us in the success we had last season as a club. 

"We've been very fortunate in the sense that we've had two No.1-calibre goalkeepers at our club and it's one of those ones where you've got two good players fighting for one position, which makes it very difficult.

"We wish Stef all the best for his footballing future and thank him for his contribution to the Phoenix."

Marinovic has also made 25 appearances for the All Whites, but faces stiff competition from the likes of Sail and Michael Woud to keep hold of the New Zealand No.1 shirt.

The Phoenix have also lost captain Ulises Davila for the 2021/22 season, with the midfielder to join Macarthur FC.