Phoenix bag Bonevacia for two more seasons

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Wellington Phoenix have secured the services of their influential Dutch star Roly Bonevacia for at least the next two seasons.

Bonevacia flew back to Holland on Monday but not before putting pen to paper on a contract extension that will see him lining up for the Kiwi club till 2017.

The defensive midfielder made a big impression in his first season with Phoenix but shrugged off interest from other A-League clubs to stay at Wellington.

A Dutch first division player for three years, the 23-year-old said he felt at home with the New Zealand outfit.

“I felt comfortable from the moment I arrived at the Phoenix and I like to think I am a loyal person,” Bonevacia said.

“Also I think we are building something special at the club; something that hasn’t been done before at the Phoenix.

“We had a fantastic season and while it was disappointing to slip up over the last few games I believe we will learn a lot from that and come back next season stronger.

“Being so close whetted my appetite and I really want to win the league. If we do that I wouldn’t feel uncomfortable about going closer to home, but for now I am staying to help bring the championship to Wellington.”

Coach Ernie Merrick was delighted to see the former Ajax Academy graduate extend his contract.

“Roly has been something of a revelation in his first season with us,” Merrick said.

“For a player of his pedigree to commit himself for another two seasons is a feather in the club’s cap.

“Roly came to us as a defensive midfielder, but he became more attacking as the season progressed and I believe he will become a key attacking player and goal scorer next season.”