Italiano heading back to Phoenix after impressive loan spell

Goalkeeper Lewis Italiano will return to the Wellington Phoenix squad on Sunday after producing a string of impressive performances during his loan spell at West Australian NPL side ECU Joondalup.

Joondalup narrowly missed out on qualifying for the NPL WA Grand Final after falling to Inglewood 6-5 on penalties in the Preliminary Final.

Italiano, who joined the Perth based outfit on loan at the end of the 2015/2016 Hyundai A-League seaso,n played 17 games and kept a stunning 10 clean sheets, including a run of five straight matches without conceding a goal.

The 25-year-old will now link up with his Phoenix team-mates in Townsville and prepare for the upcoming A-League campaign.

"I want to thank the players and staff at Joondalup for helping me have a fantastic time at the club," Italiano said.

"It was a great experience personally, and excellent for my development as a goalkeeper to play so many matches.

"It was a shame we missed out on making the Grand Final, but playing with such a good group of players and keeping five consecutive clean sheets will live long in the memory for me.

"I’m now eager to join up with the Wellington Phoenix boys and begin the preparing for the new A-League season."