Teenage attacking midfielder Callan Elliot is poised to get his A-League chance with Wellington Phoenix.
Mark Rudan's side are expected to sign the 19-year-old later this week and he could come into the squad for Sunday's season opener against Newcastle Jets.
He was one of the hottest prospects in the ISPS Handa Premiership last season, playing 15 times for Tasman and scoring two goals.
Rudan brought him in on trial at the start of pre-season and he's the only survivor from that first group of trialists.
Nelson-based Elliot is a New Zealand under-20 international who can play in defence as well as midfield.
Rudan said of him: "He's a good kid; he's been working extremely hard. He's on track to get a spot as we've got to fill one more under-20 contract and I've said I want to give New Zealanders the first crack at it."
Elliot is a graduate of the Paul Ifill Football Academy, having spent three years developing his skills under the former Phoenix player's guidance.
The 19-year-old is set to become the eighth signing of the close-season by Rudan for his first campaign in charge.
One of the most experienced signings is striker David Williams, who says he joined because he feels Rudan's assembling a good squad.
"I believe this team can go a long way and playing up front with the likes of Roy Krishna and Nathan Burns, that for me was one of the biggest drawcards," said the 30-year-old.
"I definitely have something to prove and Mark's given me the option to be in this team and be a leader and it's a good chance for me to get back to where I once was and where I know I can be."
Wellington are 11.00 to win the Grand Final.
The Phoenix are 3.30 to win their first game of the season against Newcastle, who are 2.15 with the draw 3.50.
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