Wellington Phoenix

Academy Director

2015 - 2016

In January 2015 Ibrom was asked by the Wellington Phoenix of the Hyundai A League club to establish the club's first full-time, residential elite academy.  The Wellington Phoenix being the only Professional Club in New Zealand.  The academy would be the first in New Zealand attached directly to a professional club and one of only a handful currently operating in the A league.


Ibrom media release day upon taking up the position of Academy Director 2015


Ibrom presenting on the Academy at the Inspire Conference in 2015

Establishing the first Professional Academy in New Zealand


Wellington Phoenix Academy 2015 cohort 


Ibrom with two players he'd recruited from Mexico

18 players were initially recruited by Ibrom from within New Zealand and from overseas.  Players quickly transitioned into a full-time holistic training program aligned with their academics.


Ibrom instructing players prior to tactical training


WPFA 2014.  A number of players would go on to professional clubs and US Colleges such as Wake Forest and Harvard.

International Recruitment

Monterrey Mexico 2013

Ibrom spent time on recruitment trips to Mexico, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand and Australia identifying and recruiting potential elite footballers into the Wellington Phoenix.  These included Eugenio Pizzuto (Pictured Right) and Calvin Harris from Hong Kong in 2012 now at Wake Forrest University. 


Eugenio Pizzuto recruited at 11 years old from Monclova Mexico 2013 would go onto represent the Mexican National Team

Going Pro


Academy Graduate Eugenio Pizzuto would go on to sign with Pachuca and Captain the U17 Mexican National Team

12 year old Sam Adams signing with the academy 2015


James McGarry signed a 3 year professional contract 2015


Alex Rufer signed a 2 year professional contract 2014


Joe Bell would go on to sign a professional contract with Viking FK 2020

The Phoenix Academy investment bore immediate fruit with the club signing outstanding 17-year-olds James McGarry and Logan Rogerson on three-year professional contracts.  This followed on from another academy graduate Alex Rufer who signed a two-year professional contract in 2014.