"It has taken a while but it can take a while when you are after better players," Merrick said.
"We had some tough competition but we persisted and in the end got our man."
"It will be a challenge for me but I have a good feeling about the manager," he said.
"I don't know much about the A-League apart from what Roly has told me.
"I have had a lot of conversations with Roly because we are good friends and he told me about the league and what the Phoenix club was like."