Phoenix re-sign Riera for two more years

Midfielder Albert Riera has signed a new two-year contract with Wellington Phoenix that will keep him at the club until the end of the 2016-17 A-League season.

Riera has been a revelation for Phoenix since he was picked up by coach Ernie Merrick from Auckland City at the beginning of last season.

And the Spaniard feels a great loyalty the club that gave him his chance to shine in the Aussie topflight.

 “The Phoenix gave me an opportunity I never expected and there is no way I would have turned my back on the club,” the 30-year-old said.

“From the moment I arrived in Wellington the boys made me feel at home and they are now all my friends.”

The Barcelona-born Riera believes Merrick is building something special at the Kiwi club.

 “Ernie is so honest with you and doesn’t beat around the bush,” he said.

“He has put in place a reserve side and an academy and brought in some fine young players.

“They are skilful and full of energy and it is important that they train with the senior players who they can learn off.

“It isn’t only good for the young players but also the senior ones as it is good to have someone pushing you so you can’t take things for granted.

“We are all aware that they are just waiting for the chance to show Ernie what they can do.”

Phoenix are currently sitting in fifth on the A-League ladder but Riera believes there is a lot more to come from Merrick’s troops despite not picking up any points on the road trip to Adelaide and Perth.

“The two teams we played are first and second in the league and we should definitely have got something from the Adelaide game,” he said.

“We were so upset to lose the way we did but we are improving all the time and that is a good signal for the future.”