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Australian Football: Sandoval cool after debut strike

Wellington Phoenix new boy Gael Sandoval says he does not feel any pressure to fill the boots of fellow Mexican Ulises Davila as they are two different players.

The Phoenix are aiming to finish in the top six of the A-League in the 2021/22 A-League campaign and it was thought the loss of Davila would hit them hard.

Sandoval on target

Davila was a revelation during his time with the club, scoring 19 goals and providing a further 12 assists in 50 appearances before completing a move to A-League rivals Macarthur at the end of last season.

Sandoval has been brought in to help fill the void and has started well when scoring on his A-League debut in the 2-1 win over Western United on Friday night.

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Sandoval can understand why comparisons are made but says he is his own man and different from Davila.

"I know Uli was the best player last season, and it’s good for me because I know the way to follow to be the best. But it’s not a competition because we are different, and we play different," Sandoval said.

"We have had different careers, we are different persons and I don't feel any pressure. Uli is a great player, but I have my own skills. There’s no pressure on me."

Fenton impressed

Sandoval has already made a big impression and Nix defender Louis Fenton says he will be a valuable addition to the side.

"He brought a lot of quality I thought," Fenton said. "You can see he’s got nice touches, scored a nice goal, and he’s only going to get better with the more games he plays as he hasn’t played in a while.

"It takes a bit of pressure off the whole team when someone can come in and do that. He did well, and it’s just exciting because I do believe he’s only going to get better."

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