A-League outfit Wellington Phoenix have signed Charles Lokoli-Ngoy for the remainder of the 2020/21 season.
The 23-year-old was poised to play for Marconi Stallions in NPL New South Wales this year, having been picked up by Peter Tsekenis to bolster their strong squad from 2020.
But the Phoenix have swooped on the talented striker, joining the Wollongong-based A-League squad for the remainder of the campaign.
“Charles was one of the young players I worked with when I was back at Sydney FC,” says Phoenix head coach Ufuk Talay.
“He’s different, he’s big and he’s strong – and at the moment I think we’re lacking a bit of depth with the injuries that we’ve had in our front third, so he’s an important signing for us to come in at this stage of the season.”
Talay says that Lokoli-Ngoy will bring “some different attributes” to the players currently at the club.
“Charles will give us some energy forward, he’s strong and he’s quick and he likes to run in behind, when was with us during the pre-season and scored a few goals – and that’s what we’re lacking at the moment, so hopefully he can bring that with him and give us a bit more balance up front.”
Lokoli-Ngoy, who will wear the number 13 for the Phoenix, says that he is looking forward to the challenge.
“I’m very excited and looking forward to playing for the Phoenix this season, and excited to be back in the A-League,” says Lokoli-Ngoy.
“So I’m very happy and hopefully we can get a good crowd in Wollongong against Western Sydney this Sunday.”
Lokoli-Ngoy says he has been watching the Phoenix the past few seasons and he “really enjoys the way they play and what coach Uffie has done there.”
“I enjoyed my time with Coach Uffie when I was at Sydney FC, he’s a great coach and I’m looking forward to him helping take me to the next level in my career.
“And I’ve known Liam [McGing] and Cammy [Devlin} for a while from my Sydney FC and youth playing days, so I’m looking froward to seeing them again and the rest of the team as well.”
Born in Democratic Republic of Congo, Lokoli-Ngoy moved to Australia at the age of 10 and started taking football seriously shortly afterwards, beginning his youth career with the Sutherland Sharks before being called up to represent the Australian under-23 team in 2015.
Lokoli-Ngoy made his A-League debut for Sydney FC in the 2017/18 season, after being promoted from their NPL side where he impressed by scoring 34 goals in 42 appearances. He made 13 appearances in total for the Sky Blues across two seasons, helping the club win the A-League Premiership in the 2017/18 season.
After making 5 appearances for the Brisbane Roar in 2019, Lokoli-Ngoy would play for Sutherland Sharks (7 goals in 10 in 10 appearances) in the National Premier Leagues NSW, before joining the TSW Pegasus FC in the Hong Kong Premier League – where he scored four goals in seven appearances, including a goal on debut.
Most recently, Lokoli-Ngoy made 13 appearances for Sydney Olympic in the National Premier Leagues NSW, scoring 5 goals, before joining the Marconi Stallions ahead of their 2021 season.
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