Louis Fenton, currently in Papua New Guinea captaining the New Zealand under-23 team at the Olympic Games qualifying tournament, has signed a two-year contract extension that will keep him at the Wellington Phoenix till May 31 2017.
Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick is delighted that 22-year-old Fenton has committed himself for another two years as he feels the best is still to come from a player who has already shown he can play a variety of positions.
“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 and he was more than happy to continue at 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.”
Fenton is enjoying captaining the under-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.”