Rising Kiwi starlet Louis Fenton has signed a two-year contract extension that will keep him at Wellington Phoenix until the end of the 2016-17 A-League campaign.
The 22-year-old is currently in Papua New Guinea captaining the New Zealand under-23 team at the Olympic Games qualifying tournament.
A delighted Phoenix coach, Ernie Merrick, said the best is yet to come from the versatile player.
“It was an easy decision to offer him another contract because Louis is what I call a ‘100 per center’, someone you always know will give you 100 per cent effort,” Merrick said.
“If he isn’t having a great day technically he makes up for it with effort.
“He is an emerging young New Zealand player who has already represented his country at senior level and I believe he will be an All White long-term.
“The way he is developing as a player and a person was shown when he captained a young Phoenix team to the finals of the Hong Kong Sevens a few weeks ago.
“He has had some injury problems including a couple of shoulder dislocations, but he is learning to look after himself better now and doesn’t go at things like a bull at a gate as he used to.
“Pace and commitment is a big part of his game and he is using those attributes well now.”
Fenton said there was some interest from overseas clubs but nothing concrete to lure him away from the Phoenix.
“I still feel lucky that I get to play the game I love with a good bunch of boys,” Fenton said.
“I believe the shoulder injuries that were so frustrating are now behind me as I haven’t had any problems for nine months and they feel stronger than ever.”
Meanwhile, Fenton is enjoying leading the U-23 New Zealand team as they attempt to qualify for the Olympics.
“It’s a pretty cool feeling captaining my country and I’m very proud that I’ve been given the opportunity,” he said.
“There is extra responsibility which I’m enjoying and learning from but I think it was about time I started to grow up and tried to be a leader.
“Playing in the Olympics would be a real dream and a chance to play against some great players, but we must first qualify.”comments