top of page

Ben Old moves to Ligue 1 club Saint-Étienne

Ben Old Saint-Etienne football
Ben Old has been given a big opportunity as he departs the Phoenix for French club St Etienne. PHOTO: DAVE LINTOTT PHOTOGRAPHY

Rising New Zealand football star Ben Old will leave the Wellington Phoenix and A-League club after signing a life-changing deal with French Ligue 1 club AS Saint-Étienne.

Old will shift to south-east France to link with 10-time French champions AS Saint-Étienne, who have recently won promotion back to Ligue 1, after the Phoenix accepted an undisclosed transfer fee.


The club was founded in 1919 and has a stadium, Stade Geffroy-Guichard who holds over 41,000 spectators.

"This move means so much to me," said Old


"All of us young players aspire to go to Europe and see how far we can go in the game. One of my biggest goals is to play in the top five leagues for a long period of time.

"I honestly didn't think it would be happening this early in my career but when Saint-Étienne came to my agent, and I was able to speak to them for the first time I was instantly hooked.

"Saint-Étienne are the second most successful club in French history and the fans are amazing so I can't wait for it all to get started."

Old, 21, was one of the breakout stars of the Phoenix's 2023-24 campaign, which ended in the semi-finals.

He featured in all 29 of the team's matches last season, scoring five goals, one of which was voted the team's goal of the season, and contributing four assists.

His performances saw him selected in the A-Leagues All Stars squad in May and he scored the opening goal in their 8-0 demolition of Newcastle United.

Old was also recalled to the All Whites this year after an 18-month absence and started all four of New Zealand's matches on their way to winning the recent OFC Nations Cup, scoring his maiden senior international goal against hosts Vanuatu in pool play.

Phoenix head coach Giancarlo Italiano was thrilled for Old.

"I always knew Oldie had the ability to get to the next level," said Italiano.

"It was more about getting his body right and making sure we built up his minutes so he could showcase his talent.

"He made the most of his chances, the right people were watching at the right time, and he deserves the move."


bottom of page