Wellington Phoenix sign Dutch youngster

Wellington Phoenix have boosted their midfield ranks with the signing of 22-year-old Dutch midfielder Roly Bonevacia for the next two A-League seasons.

Bonevacia is a graduate of the famed Ajax Academy, having spent almost 10 years in the juniors before being offered a professional contract by then manager of Ajax Martin Jol.

The youngster made his Eredivisie debut at just 18 years of age before being sent on loan to NAC Breda. 

He made 18 appearances for Breda before being loaned out to Roda JC where he was then signed on a two-year deal at the start of the 2013-14 season. 

After making just ten starts last season, and suffering a shoulder injury at the start of May he was released by Roda with a year left on his contract. 

Phoenix head coach Ernie Merrick is excited by the capture of Bonevacia and believes he will provide adequate cover in the midfield. 

“I had two major problem areas to cover and I knew I had to have more depth in midfield and defence than last season,” the coach said.

“When Albert Riera was injured it left a gap in the midfield, and when the All Whites went on international duty there was little cover in defence.

“I had been on the lookout for someone who can play both in midfield and at centre back or full back.

“Roly fits the bill and will be pushing for a first team spot from the outset.”

Bonevacia came to Merrick’s notice through an agent and the coach was impressed when doing due diligence on the player.

“I watched eight or nine full games Roly played in and liked what I saw,” Merrick said.

“He has an excellent background and I also spoke to the Roda coach that signed him.

“I talked to Roly and so did our captain Andrew Durante. We both felt he was the type of lad who would fit in at the Phoenix.”

Bonevacia and his family will arrive in Wellington as soon as relevant documentation is aquired.