Wellington Phoenix bolster attack by signing Marconi striker

MOVING FORWARD: Charles Lokoli-Ngoy in action for Sydney FC. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images
MOVING FORWARD: Charles Lokoli-Ngoy in action for Sydney FC. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Wellington Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay has taken a step towards bolstering his side's struggling attack, announcing the signing of Marconi striker Charles Lokoli-Ngoy on Wednesday afternoon.

The Phoenix have struggled to find the back of the net since arriving in Wollongong, scoring six goals in six games to sit in 11th on the A-League ladder. Their attacking issues have further been hampered by Tomer Hemed and Jaushua Sotirio's injuries, while David Ball will miss the next two games due to suspension.

Lokoli-Ngoy's signing was announced ahead of the club's do-or-die clash with the Western Sydney Wanderers at WIN Stadium this Sunday. He will join the club at training this Thursday and is expected to line-up against the Wanderers.

The 23-year-old brings a wealth of A-League experience, having previously represented Sydney FC and the Brisbane Roar.

Talay, who worked with Lokoli-Ngoy at the sky blues, is delighted to sign the emerging talent.

"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 said.

"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, said he looked forward to playing for the Phoenix and he was "excited to be back in the A-League".

"I'm very happy and hopefully we can get a good crowd in Wollongong against Western Sydney this Sunday," he said.

"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 [Phoenix players] Liam [McGing] and Cammy [Devlin] for a while from my Sydney FC and youth playing days, so I'm looking forward to seeing them again and the rest of the team as well."