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Striker Powell released by Phoenix

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 4/07/2016

Blake Powell © Getty Blake Powell Striker Blake Powell has been released from his Wellington Phoenix contract to allow him to return to Sydney for personal reasons.

The frontman, who signed a one-year contract extension in March, scored eight goals in 23 appearances for the Wellington A-League club.

Coach Ernie Merrick said he was sad to see Powell go but understood his desire to return home to be closer to his family.

"Blake is a terrific person and has been a popular member of the playing squad," Merrick said.

"From the moment he joined the club he showed a willingness to learn and he finished up as our top scorer."

Merrick said Powell's four-goal burst in the Phoenix's 5-2 win over Western Sydney Wanderers last season had shown just what the 25-year-old could achieve.

"That was very special and showed his potential. I wish Blake well, will keep in touch with him and follow his progress with interest."

Powell scored three goals in 18 appearances for Sydney FC but was released in 2014 following a knee injury.

He returned last year for APIA Leichhardt in the National Premier League's NSW competition, scoring 21 goals in 16 appearances before signing with the Phoenix.

Powell said he was grateful for the Phoenix's support of his decision to return home, and thanked Merrick for giving him a second chance in the A-League.

"I have had the opportunity to meet some amazing people and I'm very grateful for the time I spent with them all."

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